Happy Eating Program

Happy Eating Program

The Happy Eating Project was specifically created to improve the lives of older people from Italian, Greek and Macedonian speaking backgrounds who receive care services from Benetas. These clients have moderate dementia and live at home with their families.

“A major aim of this project was to reduce any stigma associated with dementia by demonstrating respect for the person while also providing helpful information for carers,” explains Ms Sandra Hills, CEO Benetas.

“By using a familiar activity such as meal preparation and eating together as a starting point, we can share useful strategies for families living with dementia to make the overall caring experience less stressful. This ultimately improves the overall quality of life of everyone involved – the person with dementia and their loved ones,” Ms Hill says.

Benetas trialed the program in north-west metropolitan Melbourne with 11 families and their Benetas Care Managers who volunteered to participate.

Ms Hills continues, “The Happy Eating Project has addressed a clearly identified need for relevant and culturally-appropriate information about dementia in Victorian communities. Its implications are far reaching beyond the scope of “mealtimes” and the families and individuals that piloted the program. The startegies were developed for Italian, Macedonian and Greek families, with translated versions available soon. ”

This program has the capacity to positively impact the lives of families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across Australia who have a family member living with dementia. Benetas is currently working to make the program available to other organisations.

The program was funded by Department of Health and Ageing through a Dementia Support Grant.

View the English Happy Eating strategies here.

Italian, Macedonian and Greek translations will be available online soon.