Do your food servers treat every resident the same?

Some of the best information comes to me from friends overhearing conversations at lunchtime in restaurants.

This conversation came to me from a friend:

“When are they going to understand that I am not my grandmother? I am their grandmother. I am different and experience life differently. They cannot assume I will think like others my age just because I am that age.

I still think for myself and make my own choices. That is important to me.  It was my choice to relocate my home base to a Senior Living Community because I am independent and demand I am treated so by everyone, family, friend, colleague, and staff member.”

Her dining companion quickly replied, “Which, by the way, I have introduced politeness and kindness to a food server recently. I reminded her of that very same idea. I am to be treated with respect and friendliness, and then we will get along just fine. I reminded her that the white hair on my head was not an indication of a grey brain. I’m still an individual, thinking my way. We may enjoy some interesting conversations ahead of us. She seems intelligent enough, just was not taught good manners.”

Both staff and residents have experienced incivility in their daily routines. Not all elderly people are the same, a fact that needs to be recognized by food serving staff. Life in senior communities does not need to suffer these awkward moments when a resident corrects the poor manners of a food server which may cause feelings of resentment. Training teaches how vital the dining experience is to every resident and each food server, including caregiving staff. When performed correctly and with joy, mealtimes are appreciated by all.  It is an uplifting happening.

My hospitality background set the tone for the Kind Dining® training curriculum. It introduces interpersonal and technical skills that improve our communities and helps to build relationships. The inclusion of staff serving meals,  from all departments, in this training is vital. We also address emotional control tools and help your food serving team to become more engaged in self-improvement on their way to becoming highly valued employees by the company. Kind Dining® training series shows commitment to helping those who want to succeed, discover a new sense of belonging and a meaning for their work, and feel passionate about their work.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Older people in your community do not have the same expectations.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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