Do you ask residents to share their ideas on making mealtimes more enjoyable?

The story came to me recently about a conversation between a few friends. They were reminiscing on FaceTime about their earlier married years when they used to have themed parties on Saturday nights after settling the kids into bed for the babysitter. Now they were looking forward to themed dinner times to break up the monotony of being physically distanced from their friends in their retirement community. It helps to hold the gloom of the present pandemic situation at bay.  They mentioned how thoroughly enjoyable a Hawaiian luau was one night and a Mexican Fiesta another. Laughing, they told how the food servers joined in on the fun and dressed the part to match the theme, even bringing a little related music in with their appropriately decorated food carts. It worked to lift everyone’s spirits.

We at Kind Dining® have long embraced fresh ideas and proven techniques to keep your residents happy and contented with their mealtimes. Themes are one tool that can be used to enlighten moods, especially at this time when many are uncertain. Hospitality remains a constant in giving people satisfaction at mealtime while it also encourages your food serving team the pleasure of helping residents be reassured during these days. The present is a time of stress we are all experiencing daily. Let your genius show by being creative. Ask your food servers for their thoughts, too. They may have new ideas from talking with residents as they serve their meals.

At Kind Dining®, we have a saying: Mealtime is the most important time to positively impact your resident’s nutritional health, wellbeing, and quality of life.  That doesn’t change whether you are serving in the dining room or extending room service. Support your food servers by letting them know how valued they are, how you appreciate the additional work they are providing to residents to keep them calm during this crisis. When you give your food serving staff a new sense of purpose, they will get along better with others on the food serving team and with residents. Now is a good moment for them to focus time and energy on what matters most: mealtimes. Your residents will respond in kind. 

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Provide a warm, sincere greeting when you enter a resident’s room. 

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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