Effective from October 2022
Workflow Owner: Community Nursing Manager
To provide Five Good Friends workers (employees, Helpers, and contractors) with a clear approach to mealtime support services and enable the provision of high-quality and safe mealtime support and safe swallowing to our Members.
- Members who are receiving mealtime support will have access to safe, enjoyable, and nutritious meals.
- Members who have dysphagia or a swallowing risk will receive safe mealtime support from trained workers.
- Workers must report incidents that arise as part of mealtime support as per the Incident Management Workflow.
- Dysphagia – is a medical term for any difficulty with swallowing. Dysphagia symptoms can worsen as people age. People with a disability are more likely to die from choking or respiratory illnesses or have serious health complications because of poor management of dysphagia. Therefore access to nutritious, safe, enjoyable meals is critical as safe meals minimise the risk of choking and serious health problems and improve a person’s safety and quality of life. Symptoms of dysphagia include:
- difficulty biting or chewing on food
- coughing or choking on food or fluid
- food or drinking falling from a person’s mouth.
- Mealtime Support – a service provided to Members who require support with meals and nutrition, including delivered meals, meal preparation, and feeding support.
- During the sign up meeting, Members who will receive mealtime and safe swallowing support as a service delivered by FGF will be assessed using the COAST and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (as required).
- The outcomes from the Mini Nutritional Assessment will be documented in the Member’s Help Plan in the How to support me section > Meals and Nutrition template.
- If a swallowing risk is identified, the Member will be referred to their GP or an allied health professional such as a speech pathologist to assess their swallowing risk and develop a mealtime management plan. If the Member has a mealtime management plan in place, this plan will be requested for incorporation into the Help Plan.
- Members, regardless of whether they receive mealtime support or not, will have the Meals and Nutrition template in the Help Plan completed.
- If the Member isn’t receiving mealtime support, only the first section is completed that identifies that FGF is not providing mealtime support.
- The Workforce Coordinator will be notified that mealtime and safe swallowing support will be provided as a service through the Matching Preferences in the Member’s profile in Lookout so it can be added to the applicable visits in the Member’s Roster.
- Important - rostering of mealtime support applies to NDIS Members currently.
- If Helpers require specific training due to the Member’s swallowing risk, e.g. through the SIL staff who have been trained on the mealtime management plan or speech pathologist, this must be documented in the Matching Preferences and the Help Plan.
- The Care Team will organise this training before the Helper can provide safe swallowing support.