Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and culinary variety is certainly something that seniors at Mercy Place Lathlain are experiencing thanks to an innovative program which is the brainchild of family members at the not-for-profit aged care home.
The ‘cooking for the community’ initiative sees family members of the seniors at the home take turns each month to cook a traditional home-made dish which all seniors can choose to enjoy.
Since it started, a variety of Italian, Indian and Nepalese meals have been lovingly made by relatives and staff, with favourites including lasagne, ravioli, and curry.
Mercy Place Lathlain’s Service Manager, Surabh Nair, says family members have relished identifying recipes, preparing shopping lists, and rolling their sleeves up in the home’s kitchen to prepare traditional dishes for all the senior residents.
“We pride ourselves on the nourishing and healthy food we prepare at Mercy Place Lathlain, and adding these traditional home-cooked meals which have been lovingly prepared by the families of some of our residents has been a wonderful addition to our menu,” he said.
“In many ways, the kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s often the place for families to gather, so we think it’s very fitting that family members are spending time in it to create some beautiful meals from their homelands.
“We’ve had residents who originally hail from India loving lasagne and ravioli, and other residents who spent their childhood in Italy trying Indian curries and it’s been heart-warming to see the pleasure on their faces as they’ve tried different tastes and flavours, sometimes for the first time.
“The staff have also really embraced the initiative and we’ve found it to be a really wonderful way of building our little community here at Mercy Place Lathlain, and also strengthening the relationships our residents have with both other residents and their families,” Mr Nair said.
Mercy Health is a Catholic community not-for-profit provider of care, founded by the Sisters of Mercy and grounded in a 2000-year history of caring for those in need. The organisation is a national service provider of health and aged care throughout Victoria, Southern New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. In Western Australia, the organisation cares for over 300 people across six residential homes, with 78 independent living units.