Graeme Prior is one of the founding Directors of Hall & Prior Residential Health & Aged Care Group and has been CEO since 1997. H&P provides care to approximately 1,500 high care residential clients and 1,000 community clients in Western Australia and New South Wales. Hall & Prior employ over 1,800 dedicated staff.
Graeme maintains an active leadership role in industry and government activities, including:
- Director of the International Federation of Ageing (IFA)
- Board member of the Commonwealth Government Sponsored CRC for Mental Health, and is also the Chairman of the CRC’s Audit and Risk Committee
Graeme has previously been a Director & Independent Chairman for the Aged Care Industry IT Company (ACIITC), a member of the ACFI industry reference group, and a Past President and Board member of the Aged Care Association Australia-Western Australia (ACAA-WA), a member of the Curtin Aged Care Advisory Group, was on the Expert Panel for the National Evidence Based Aged Care Unit (NEBACU) at Adelaide University, and a founding member of the Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care in Western Australia.
Graeme is a Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Fellow of the Australian Taxation Institute and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Graeme has a strong vision for the future of the aged and community care sector and the role that the business community can play in achieving this.
Older adults have an increased nutritional risk and vulnerability to malnutrition as a result of multi-morbidities and age-related factors. Within Australia it is estimated that 50% of care recipients (CR) residing in residential aged care facilities (RACF) are malnourished. For CR with high-care needs, the risk of malnutrition is even greater. Evidence-based nutritional care processes are shown to improve the nutritional status of this population hence supporting optimal health and wellbeing.
One Australian aged care group provides specialised care to approximately 1200 CR across 25 facilities in two states, most with advanced care needs. For many, this impacts on their ability to consume adequate dietary intake, with one in three CR requiring full assistance and almost half requiring texture modified meals.
Few Australian aged care organisations have a mandated nutritional care process, and even less employ in-house dietitians and speech pathologists. The aged care group introduced in-house dietetic support 15 years ago. In 2016, they formally established a nutrition and hydration program incorporating four dietitians and three speech pathologists. Concurrently, the development and application of evidence-based nutritional care and dysphagia management processes and projects has occurred, focusing on clinical support, education, policies and procedures. Prioritised areas include food service support, medical nutrition therapy and regulatory compliance.
Preliminary analyses show that in one state, 51% of CR residing in the aged care groups RACF for at least 12 months were in the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range for older adults (22-27 kg/m2) in January 2018, compared with 47% of those same CR one year earlier. For the same period, BMI stability was shown for those with lengths of stay 12 and 24 months or longer (86% and 90% respectively). This is despite increased CR clinical complexity relative to nutritional intake, as evidenced by the increased requirement of texture modified meals from January 2016 (35%) to December 2017 (47%).
These results indicate a positive trend between the nutritional status of CR and admission into RACF supported by the nutrition and hydration program, however, limitations in the data are acknowledged. The next phase of the program is to identify academic partnerships with whom to conduct further research investigating the effectiveness and impact of its interventions on CR health outcomes.
This presentation will describe the evolution, current progress and future directions of the program as a model for best-practice nutritional care for older adults residing in high-level RACF.