Do Your Residents Glow With Joy During the Holiday Season?

In helping her mother find the best retirement/assisted living community that would fit her personality, a friend of mine decided the best time to look was during the Christmas holidays. She paid special attention to the dining room. She learned a contest was held for the residents to make the decorations for the tables. The staff held a decorating social to include the residents while they strung popcorn and hung the holly in the dining room. Christmas music played in the background to get them all in the holiday mood. From December 1 until January 6, the chef selected particular days to feature various traditional foods for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s, asking the residents for recipes and suggestions. On those days, a holiday-related door prize was given to the lucky winner who found a randomly placed Star sticker under their placemat.

Framed photos of the servers were pleasingly hung on the wall of the dining room. During the holiday season the servers wore themed aprons, some outrageously funny! The residents applauded the best and the server got a star placed on her photo.

Family members were encouraged to join residents for lunch or dinner. She also noted how the servers were chatty, interacting with the residents, often calling them by name. My friend was an observant person, wanting a home where her mom could make new friends easily. She wanted assurance that she was leaving her in the hands of servers and general staff who cared enough to use kindness and thoughtfulness in her mom’s daily life. This is what Kind Dining® teaches.

She noted that the entire community glowed with camaraderie, activities, music, and contests, such as door decorations. Knowing her mom would soon need the assisted living section of the community, it was important that when she needed to stay in the community during the holiday season, it would be an enjoyable time.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, the service you give has the power to build community.

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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