There’s more to our food than meets the eye!

Some people have problems feeding, chewing or swallowing. This means some foods and drinks are a danger for choking or for material to ‘go down the wrong way’ and into the airway. The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI), through consultation and following best practice principles, has developed a global standardised way of describing foods and drinks that are safest for people with feeding, chewing or swallowing problems. 

The framework can be used for people of all ages, in all care settings and can be applied to all cultures. Simple measurement methods are included in the framework. It is a continuum of 8 colour coded levels from zero to seven.

These measurement methods confirm the IDDSI Level a food or drink belongs to, or if it is unsafe for people with feeding, chewing or swallowing problems.

Why have we adopted these standards at Southern Cross Care?

Approximately 30-50% of aged care residents in Australia are recognised as having swallowing difficulties due to dysphagia, and are on texture modified diets. 

Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that includes problems with chewing, sucking and swallowing food or drinks. When left unmanaged dysphagia can have adverse effects such as malnutrition, dehydration, choking, and pneumonia.

The introduction of IDDSI has been a significant update to the way aged care chefs manage texture modified meal plans and food preparation. It is crucial for our residents safety, nutrition and wellbeing. 

We have adopted IDDSI to reduce the risk of malnutrition and choking in our facilities. We work closely with our speech pathologists, the residents and their families to ensure each resident can enjoy their meal and take sustenance from it.

SCC Tas is proud to be one of the first aged care providers in Tasmania to develop their own ‘soft and bite-sized’ menu using fresh local produce around the IDDSI framework. There is more to come, alongside our philosophy of continual improvement we hope to provide full IDDSI menu options by partnering with our residents to produce meals they will love to eat.

At SCC Tas we aim to make it shine at every opportunity. We work closely with local distributors to purchase only the best Tasmanian products and always live by the mentality “Fresh is Best”.

Download more information on the IDDSI framework here