While trying to stay in touch with family, Dina’s niece emailed her at her retirement community, asking if she had been visiting the kids lately. The kids had kids of their own and often held family celebrations or took Dina out to dinner, shopping, or somewhere special for the day. No, Dina told her, if she went to stay with the kids, she would need to be quarantined from the community for two weeks when she returned. Two weeks totally alone was too high a price to pay for one night out for dinner. Also, she wouldn’t want to be the cause of possibly bringing the coronavirus into the community. At least she had Facetime, Zoom, email, and the staff’s camaraderie to keep her from feeling abandoned. She remarked how appreciative she was that one of her food servers, in particular, was one of those people who could never say ‘hello.’ She always had a funny story or a bit of gossipy news to share. She continued to say, “You have no idea how important this one person is to me. She spreads joy wherever she goes. I know because I asked others in the community who are friends with me. They agree.”
Spreading joy, like Johnny Appleseed, freely spread his chance to grow new trees, during the time of this pandemic is not necessarily an easy one. Food servers are especially carrying a big responsibility along with the trays they carry. They, too, are concerned not to bring a virus home to their families. They, too, are covering the work to be done on days when they are short-handed, worried that a coworker staying home doesn’t mean they have contracted the virus. They, too, are still feeling the joy of helping when help is needed. They, too, are health care professionals doing their share of work while maintaining conversations with the older people they serve to wipe away fears, loneliness, and boredom.
Kind Dining® continues training courses, giving food serving workers the tools needed to perform at their finest in these times when health care professionals come in the form of a food server. The professional reports for work whether quarantines are in effect or not. They achieve joy in their work and share that joy with each person they meet in the community because they know how critical it is and how their presence on the job is meaningful. Food serving teams are formed to bolster each other, ease the stress they are all carrying, make their work easier, do what teammates do, and supply service beyond their duty.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Your food serving team has a critical role to play in helping residents overcome loneliness and isolation.