Do Your Residents Glow With Joy During the Holiday Season?

In helping her mother find the best retirement/assisted living community that would fit her personality, a friend of mine decided the best time to look was during the Christmas holidays. She paid special attention to the dining room. She learned a contest was held for the residents to make the decorations for the tables. The staff held a decorating social to include the residents while they strung popcorn and hung the holly in the dining room. Christmas music played in the background to get them all in the holiday mood. From December 1 until January 6, the chef selected particular days to feature various traditional foods for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s, asking the residents for recipes and suggestions. On those days, a holiday-related door prize was given to the lucky winner who found a randomly placed Star sticker under their placemat.

Framed photos of the servers were pleasingly hung on the wall of the dining room. During the holiday season the servers wore themed aprons, some outrageously funny! The residents applauded the best and the server got a star placed on her photo.

Family members were encouraged to join residents for lunch or dinner. She also noted how the servers were chatty, interacting with the residents, often calling them by name. My friend was an observant person, wanting a home where her mom could make new friends easily. She wanted assurance that she was leaving her in the hands of servers and general staff who cared enough to use kindness and thoughtfulness in her mom’s daily life. This is what Kind Dining® teaches.

She noted that the entire community glowed with camaraderie, activities, music, and contests, such as door decorations. Knowing her mom would soon need the assisted living section of the community, it was important that when she needed to stay in the community during the holiday season, it would be an enjoyable time.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, the service you give has the power to build community.

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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