Have your food servers mastered the skills of adapting to change with fortitude, patience, and kindness?

Beautifully decorated Thanksgiving table with thank you card next to place sittingEven in these hard times of pandemic, we have much to be thankful for in our senior living community. We have been fortunate to learn quickly how to protect our environment, residents, staff, and have learned ways of social distancing in everyday activities.  Incorporating virtual technology into our daily lives has kept residents from loneliness, kept all of us in touch with each other, including families and friends who cannot enter our premises. We combat the coronavirus by following safety rules.

The food servers in our communities have always been essential to healthy living by their service, caring, attitude, and the responsibilities they accept.  Older residents have lived long lives, have endured the pitfalls of life, and survived. They are the first to know that this pandemic will also pass. Hopefully, it will make our communities stronger and wiser in the service they provide.

Beginning the holiday season with Thanksgiving Day, it is ideal for your food serving team to be aware of holiday blues, sadness, or unusual irritability that may be sneaking up on a resident. Often a loss of appetite is an indication of a problem pending and one that food servers can take note of.  It is easier for your food serving team to notice a tentative problem when they are familiar with the residents they serve. They can also notice personal appearance and mental attitude.  Your chef’s selections can make a difference by creating a healthy appetite during the holidays.  An old Irish proverb:  Laughter is brightest where food is best.

Memories are a big part of the holidays and are connected to food. Preparing the special requests of favorite or traditional foods will help to keep residents cheerful. Those who are new to living in the community may need someone to listen to them reminisce a bit. Food servers may encourage them in their conversation to form new traditions and remind them that these times will not last forever.

Kind Dining ® continually updates training to reflect the needs of food serving teams as traditional service changes to include new rules, regulations, and suggestions that keep residents healthy and safe.  New challenges in community living have essential, loyal, and faithful food servers learning how to combine hospitality with healthcare using kindness and compassion. They master the skills of food service at a time when they must adapt to change with fortitude, patience, and kindness.

B Kind® Tip: “Clean plates don’t lie.” — Dan Barber

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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