Staff Spotlight: Lainie Lynch, Catering and Hospitality Manager
Lainie Lynch has worked as The Salvation Army Aged Care’s Catering and Hospitality Manager for the last eight years with oversight of our 21 Residential Aged Care Centres and 7 Retirement Villages across Australia. She frequently travels to our Centres and is warmly greeted as “the food lady” by some of our residents. Indeed, her infectious smile and warm demeanour are appreciated by residents and staff alike.
Lainie is a chef by trade and qualified Food Safety Auditor, and her experience in the Aged Care industry spans 18 years and in various roles, including Regional Hospitality Manager, Regional Operations Manager, Laundry Specialist Advisor, as well as various Quality roles.
“The role I fill at The Salvation Army Aged Care allows me to make a difference for our residents by offering the best possible services available in the hospitality space,” she says. “What brings me most joy is building relationships and rapport with our residents and ensuring that they feel comfortable sharing their personal experiences with food in our Centres.” This occurs either one-on-one or in the Food Focus Forums held every three months.
In addition to managing catering and hospitality for The Salvation Army Aged Care, Lainie has created a suite of recipes that meet the Food First concept of supplementation which replaces commercial supplementation in our homes to manage weight loss across our Centres.
She says that our vegetarian residents are also well looked after with a vegetarian meal choice being available every day on the 5-week cycle menu. “All the meals at our Centres are created from recipes that meet the aged care nutritional requirements,” Lainie says.
Since joining The Salvation Army Aged Care’s Residential Services team, Lainie has represented the organisation as a speaker at the Institute of Hospitality conference on three occasions to speak about the dining experience and Food First High Energy High Protein, the recipe suite utilised in our Centres, and on the Dementia Dining experience.
“My passion for Aged Care originates from personal experience,” Lainie says. She was raised by her grandparents in her early years, and watched her grandmother develop Parkinson’s disease and then Parkinson’s-related dementia.
When she is not working, she spends time in her garden or at the beach. She also enjoys travelling with her partner and seeing her twin sons and her grandchildren. “Coming home to my big, beautiful three pooches always puts a smile on my face too,” Lainie says.