A dietitian was appalled to find more than half of residents at a Hobart residential aged care facility were malnourished or at risk of malnourishment when she was called in as a consultant late last year.
Ngaire Hobbins, an aged care consultant and dietitian says she visited the site over three days in November of 2018.
Ms Hobbins says, “The malnourishment rates were "appalling" and whilst the food wasn’t poor quality, some residents were simply not eating their meals.”
She says, “For a number of those who were not able to attend the dining room, the situation was poor. There were people calling out from rooms, others parked in front of a blaring TV and others told to sit down when they tried to get up.”
In one example Ms Hobbins gave she said she visited a lady who was wheelchair bound, with a tray in front of her which had the remains of breakfast and supper from the night before on it.
She says, "Being at risk of malnutrition carries very high risks of other things happening, like pressure injuries developing, or if people have them, them getting worse, higher risk of falls, higher risk of being weak so people can't sit upright and get their meal down properly, so they have swallowing problems."
Nutrition Australia has estimated up to 60 per cent of residents in some aged care facilities are likely malnourished.