The Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) has developed a poster for staff who support people during mealtimes. The poster provides a simple stepped process on what to do to make mealtimes safe and enjoyable. For example:
- always follow the person’s mealtime support plan
- check that the person is alert and as upright as possible
- make sure that small amounts of food are being offered
- wait for food to clear from the person’s mouth before offering more
The poster also outlines what signs to look out for that may suggest there is an issue or problem – and who to contact for further or urgent support and assistance.
You can download Safe Mealtime poster A3
You can read poster content in html format here
Management of dysphagia and mealtime
Management of dysphagia and mealtime supports are long-standing systemic issues. In response to the widespread presence of choking and aspiration pneumonia as causes of death in people with disability, the DSC convened a multi-agency roundtable ‘Influencing mealtime supports in disability services’ in June 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 meal time assistance on a daily basis.
The DSC would like to thank the following members of the multi-agency roundtable for their endorsement and active contribution in developing the poster.
- Council of Intellectual Disability
- Deakin University
- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- 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