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Safe Mealtimes - new resource for staff

Illustration of a support worker assiting with meal.

9th October 2020

Safe Mealtimes – new resource for staff

Do you support people who have swallowing difficulties?

Do you manage staff who provide meal assistance?

We have developed a poster for staff of disability services who support people during mealtimes. The poster provides a simple stepped process on what to do to make mealtimes safe and enjoyable. To find out more see our recent article To find out more see our recent article ‘Safe Mealtimes Poster’.

Posters are easy to print on both A4 and A3 paper and provide space for services to add their specific information, such as the house supervisor’s contact details. Access to a printer will be required, if this is not possible please contact us preferably by email to contact@odsc.vic.gov.au or you can call on 1800 677 342.

You can download Safe Mealtime poster A3

You can read poster content in html format here

Additional Resources:

For team leaders and managers who have an important role in ensuring the quality of supports for people with disability, we have created additional resources to help you communicate to your staff about the importance of mealtimes. These resources are designed to be easy to access and edit so you can tailor the information to suit your organisation and include:

  • Content for your newsletters or updates to staff. We have put together suggested text for you to incorporate into your next newsletter or update to staff. All you need to do is copy and paste into your chosen platform and make it your own. You can find content here and image here.
  • Let’s talk about safe mealtimes – for meetings. Understanding the importance of mealtimes requires discussion and sometimes further action. This resource provides a simple list of prompts for discussion that could be used during team meetings, one-on-one supervision, reflective practice and within a training context.

Download PDF here: Lets talk about safe mealtimes

Download Word here: Let’s talk about safe mealtimes

Why did we create this resource?

Management of dysphagia (dysphagia means difficulty swallowing) and mealtime supports are long-standing issues. In response to the widespread presence of choking and aspiration pneumonia as causes of death for people with disability, the DSC convened a number of multi-agency roundtable meetings ‘Influencing mealtime supports in disability services’ in 2019. The aim of the roundtable was to identify key issues and develop actions to ensure that people with disability who have swallowing difficulties receive appropriate assessments and mealtime supports.

The Safe Mealtimes poster is one outcome of the roundtable and is aimed at disability support workers who offer mealtime support on a daily basis. The DSC would like to thank all participants of the roundtable for their active contribution to the development of the poster

  • Council of Intellectual Disability
  • Deakin University
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (formerly the Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Dietitians Association of Australia
  • National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission
  • National Disability Services (NDS)
  • Scope Australia
  • Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)
  • STAR Victoria
  • The Benevolent Society
  • Yooralla

Level 30, 570 Bourke Street,

Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia

Call for enquiries or complaints - 1800 677 342

Email for enquiries or complaints - complaints@odsc.vic.gov.au