Remember the Painting Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell?

Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want must be one of his most revered paintings. It shows the grandparents placing the turkey on the Thanksgiving table with the family sitting happily around it. I think so highly of it that I have used it in my presentations. It is the very essence of my beliefs of bringing warmth to the table in every community. The feelings that lift off that picture can be in every community. The grandmother probably had years of learning about cooking, how to present the foods, set the table, hospitality, and relationships, both within the family and for newcomers to the family as it grew.

It is what a community ought to be, year-round, creating a family atmosphere in the dining room between the residents, the serving teams and the residents, and between the serving teams with each other. Like Grandma, the serving teams can expand their knowledge and learn how to be the best at hospitality. It’s the glue that brings all other efforts in the community together. You can learn how from Kind Dining® training in less time than it took Grandma!

This time of year opens new opportunities as the holidays burst onto the scene. Servers can make a difference when new people move into the community. The dining room is the perfect place to introduce them to the ‘regulars’. A good server will know exactly which resident will add a welcome feeling to a new resident and would be delighted to help. This is a result of bonding between serving staff and resident. The glow of this small interaction will overflow onto your server knowing she has performed a good deed. It is also a reflection of the decorations that adorn the tables encouraging that wonderful feeling of family between the blending of traditions that share a community.

Many families and visitors will be in the dining room as guests during this holiday season because 50 to 80 percent of seniors surveyed prefer to remain in the community, avoiding the hectic for the comfort.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: You and your staff have an important role to play in helping residents overcome loneliness during this holiday season. Give them a sense of home.


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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