Leading the Troops

Seniors telling their stories is an important part of who they are as they evolve into their elder years. I heard a WWII veteran tell his story on NPR’s StoryCorp. He was part of a platoon who had to come up with ideas on deception; how to fool the enemy into believing misinformation. One of the tools they used was sound. The platoon slipped into the Normandy woods after midnight and turned the sound up loud to create the image of tanks and troops moving through the village by the hundreds. The next day local townspeople were on Main Street talking about what they ‘saw’ the night before. Word was passed on to the enemy who had no idea that it was false.

Telling your own stories at the table in the dining room is an excellent way to make friends and for your friends to get to know the real you. They often open up a quiet person reluctant to speak of themselves but want to make a comment in reply to your story. In retirement communities, many seniors will be starting a new way of life and meeting new friends.  Often they are coming into the dining room solo which is the most natural place to sit next to someone to hear their story while sharing a meal. Friendships are bonded in this way. It’s part of what makes the dining room in your community so vital. Your food servers can assist in the success by being aware of which resident needs an introduction to the particular table suited to her. It’s part of the food servers getting to know the residents she serves. It is an added helpfulness if your food servers realize your community is expected to be the residents’ last home. That thought increases the intention of making it the happiest experience possible. Families and friends will carry your community as a memory long after a friend/family member has passed away.

This is a situation that Kind Dining® addresses as a transformational process that helps your food servers become aware of achieving higher standards of quality which leads to resident-centered success. Your food servers who need professional development will exhibit a change of behavior and your new food servers will be starting out savvy with the skills they learn. We at Kind Dining® have the resources to offer an extraordinary opportunity to have your food servers excel in enhancing your residents’ health and well-being.

It’s what I do.

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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