The Lantern Project to shine the light on malnutrition in aged care

The Lantern Project is research project centering on the importance of nutrition in the elderly population, as it is estimated that up to 80% of aged care Australian residents are malnourished. It will be headed up by Gold-Coast based dietitian Cherie Hugo, whose private practice team at My Nutrition Clinic consult to more than 15 residential aged care facilities in Queensland and New South Wales.

The aims of the project include:

  • Quantifying the value of good nutrition in aged care
  • Advocating for more of a focus on nutrition in the Aged Care Funding Instrument
  • Advocating for the development of healthy eating guidelines for the elderly, with the focus being on flavours and the joy of eating
  • To educate and empower residential aged care facility staff around food and supplements
  • To involve aged care residents in edible gardening
  • To involve residents and their families in food decisions
  • To support the use of Australia produce in aged care facilities

This project is not all about pointing fingers or blaming others, it is actually about working out solutions to help give aged care residents the nutrition and proper care that they deserve.

To learn more about The Lantern Project led by Cherie Hugo, visit and The Lantern Project website or a story from Bond University. Click here for more news about dietetics in Australia.

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  1. For over 4 years, Jo Bozin, a life style coordinator in Aged Care in Melbourne, has been outstanding in her work with improving the enjoyment of food and well being of dementia patients and the staff who care for them. With limited space and for under $2000 dollars, Jo has proved that with a little commitment, any care facility can have an ongoing source of abundant fresh food set up and running in under 3 hours.

    I have witnessed firsthand the amazing benefits and pure joy that Jo has brought to the dementia residents of two care facilities with one simple vertical garden tower kit. Bringing gardening joy back to those who have ‘lost’ their own gardens (even to those in wheelchairs) and supplying the kitchen with over 200 meals of fresh produce is no mean feat when you do it in 1sq.m of paved yard!

    Jo and her residents hosted a Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea party once at which I was a guest. The table was laden with delicious dips made from fresh produce which the residents had proudly grown in their garden tower. This angel deserves a medal for identifying, embracing and wholeheartedly instigating an activity that meets a wealth of human needs. Staff, as well as those in her care, benefit from Jo’s dedication to improving the quality of life in Aged Care.

    Apart from enjoying fresh produce and gardening again, Jo’s residents feel valued and become involved in a productive activity. An abundance of herbs last year saw bunches being handed out to residents’ friends and families – a truly reciprocal achievement for those for whom life in an Aged Care facility centers around dependency.

    Have a feel good moment- read this article, entitled “Vertical Gardens Take Root”in the Feb. 1st 2012 issue of Aged care INsite magazine

    P.S Jo is now fund raising for a garden tower at a third Care Facility where she works. Surely we can somehow get crowd funding to get one garden tower into as many Aged Care facilities as will accept one?

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