How are changes touching your life this year?

Changes are going on all the time, even in these pandemic times which have changed our lives dramatically in the last year. Most of the time, we don’t really take notice because our focus is on the responsibilities in our lives. The biggest change this year in senior care communities has been the closing of the dining areas where mealtimes were encouraged as social events. It was great for friends sharing time with long-known friends and for meeting new people who came into their community. For the food serving team, this pandemic change has been drastic but not impossible. New ways of serving residents who are under quarantine have stressed planners with how to accommodate residents in the best possible way. It is vital to help our residents keep their spirits up when they cannot socialize over lunch or dinner.

While a Kind Dining® education is encouraged in normal times. It is crucial to include staffers, who once covered other positions, in Kind Dining® training because they are now called into food service. They may not have a clue about the complexities of their duties when serving meals and in contact face to face with older people. Leadership and management will do well if they consider endorsing this training to keep the high standards their community has achieved. It is time to empower employees to perform and make decisions that will be right for residents. Many of those older people are sensing loneliness and abandonment issues. Positive attitudes carried by your food serving team will overflow to those receiving meals with gratefulness. Smiles at the corner of your eyes are infectious. The joy of pleasant conversation adds to the health of the resident through hospitality. The chef helps by offering more comfort foods than usual and adding extra desserts to menu options. 

The changes in the daily routines of the community often affect the staff in a negative way. While they are showing extra care toward the residents they also suffer from the separation of not being able to be social with their coworkers. Of course, the fear of bringing the coronavirus home to their families is an additional fear. So all are touched by this pandemic that has us learning about extreme caution to everyone we come near or in contact with our daily routines at work.

Our B Kind® Tip:  Remember, just by coming to work today, you make a difference. 

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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