Elizabeth Beattie is Professor of Aged and Dementia Care in the School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. She is a psychogeriatric nurse with extensive experience in clinical practice, education and research gained in Australia, the UK and the US.
She is currently Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre: Carers and Consumers and the Qld Dementia Training and Study Centre. Her research interests include the maintenance of nutritional health in people living with dementia and their carers, particularly in residential care facilities. She is interested in how we can improve staff knowledge of nutrition, increase access to food choice, facilitate pleasurable, meaningful food preparation and dining experiences and increase family and staff involvement in mealtimes as social occasions.
Why am I involved in The Lantern Project?
The Lantern Project is an innovative initiative with an important mission to improve the nutritional health and wellness of older Australians. It aims to do this not only by traditional methods but by asking all of us to revisit and rekindle the many important social aspects of nutrition that are easily neglected but can give pleasure and meaning to everyday living while improving health - growing food, access to fresh produce, preparing food, sharing food with others, savouring food and food memories and creating sustaining relationships and community.
As well as increased community awareness of the importance of nutrition to health and wellness in late life I would like to see the Lantern achieve:
- Measurable changes in nutritional status in vulnerable groups of older people, such as those living alone and those living in congregate care., those living with dementia.
- The growth of sustainable networks supporting high quality nutrition and nutrition-focused activities in residential aged care environments so that pleasure in mealtimes and growing, preparing and sharing fresh and interesting food are highly valued.