Elior's new catering solution in France, IDÉQUATIO, is designed for elderly persons who are dependent or whose capacity to nourish themselves has been impaired by the effects of age or illness.

Today, the average age when people in France lose their autonomy is 83. Due to prolonged life expectancy, the number of dependent elderly people is set to increase. It is estimated that by 2060, there will be 5 million people over 85 years old, compared with1.4 million today (INSEE).

Aware of the need to adapt its catering offering for seniors to match changing trends in their expectations and the greater level of dependence in which they find themselves when they go into a residential care home for the elderly, Elior designed IDÉQUATIO, a tailored solution based on a simple idea: to ensure that everyone can continue to nourish themselves with pleasure, in an autonomous manner for as long as possible, no matter their health.

We are proud and pleased to launch IDÉQUATIO, which represents a step forward for the well-being of our elderly guests and is a mark of respect for people who lose their autonomy. We make meal time easier for our guests, allowing them to be better nourished and hydrated, It also serves as a support for  meal-assistance personnel because food adapted to elderly persons stimulates their appetite, dedramatizes meal times and constitutes a moment of pleasure rather than one of constraint. In addition, IDÉQUATIO enhances the quality of care given to elderly persons because it contributes towards making the phenomenon of dependence more acceptable by restoring pleasure at the heart of a key moment in the daily life of residents: at meal times.

— Pierre Knoché - CEO of Elior France’s Education and Healthcare markets

The shaping of IDÉQUATIO's goal was underpinned by the combination of two R&D approaches. The first of these is a scientific approach carried out in accordance with the IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative) method that facilitates the understanding and evaluation of food textures by all stakeholders involved: professionals, caregivers and the patients themselves.

The second, a qualitative approach, respects the original taste of recipes and their elaboration to enable a concentration of savors so as to compensate for the loss of taste. Focus is also placed on meal presentation so as to make dishes more appetizing and give residents the desire to taste and savor them.

With IDÉQUATIO, Elior has launched an innovative culinary solution that is adapted to the state of health and the individual tastes of every dependent elderly person; the aim being to facilitate meals and medical care and to contribute to residents’ everyday well-being. In this way, Elior enables its senior guests to eat with pleasure and in safety, and facilitates the daily duties of caregivers and nursing staff.  

Before being generalized, IDÉQUATIO was tested and approved in the Clos Saint Martin's care home in Rennes (France) over a period of two-and-a-half months. It will be gradually rolled out to Elior France's other sites thanks to a first team-training phase completed at the end of summer 2019. To date, 52 Elior chefs have been trained throughout France and will play an active role in the deployment of IDÉQUATIO.  

With IDÉQUATIO we are able to cook food products in more varied forms than before, thanks to a range of techniques and tips at our disposition. In the case of beef bourguignon or croissants, for example, we can cook, or in the latter case, bake the ingredients separately, then present them in such a way that they look and taste the same as in the original recipes. It is very important for us to stimulate the appetites of our residents and allow them to eat without fearing they are swallowing the wrong way for example. 

— Thomas Cerceau - chef of the La Charmée Ehpad in Châteauroux (36)

With IDÉQUATIO, we have broken the current codes and changed the paradigm. By drawing on our expertise we can provide a better individual response to people suffering from dysphagia disorders, while ensuring the maximum amount of pleasure and comfort in eating.”  She went on to say: "The personalized approach, enhanced taste and stimulation of the visual memory are at the heart of IDÉQUATIO whose goal is to whet the appetite of dysphagic people in complete safety and to bring them pleasure.

— Véronique Mourier - Nutrition manager at Elior France