How can you help someone overcome isolation at mealtime today?

The story came to me about a woman lamenting the loss of her friend’s meeting for meals at
noon. It was her big social time of the day. Special. A reason to pouf her hair and add a pretty
scarf around her neck. Now she was hovering in physical distancing. All meals were brought to
her room. Her lifted spirits drooped after a few weeks of bad news on the TV. Then she paid
particular attention to her food server who was now taking a few minutes to pass the time of day
and share the news from the community.

One day last week the food server complimented her on the rings she was wearing. It was just
enough to put the sparkle back in her mind. She began dressing up again at noontime. The food
server smiled noticing the difference. Each day at noon the food server looked for that extra bit
her resident wore and complimented her on it. It made them both laugh and created a bond
between them. It was nothing humongous but it was important enough to create a flicker of
enjoyment in life, even in physical distance time.

Modern technology finally entered in with ways to use the cell phone and the internet to connect
with her friends again. They noticed how well put together she was like she had not lost her zest
at all. “It was my food server,” she said as she called her by name. “We’ve gotten to know each
other like we never have before. It’s wonderful.!”

What Kind Dining® has been teaching and coaching is more important than ever. The basics are
the same for food servers whether in the dining room or in the residents’ rooms. Emit that homey

feeling. Allow those you serve to know that you care, that you want to do a little extra to add to
their contentment and well-being. When your food servers create good relationships the
community moves forward.

Food servers who bond with their coworkers, help create a team ensuring that everyone wins.
Teammates enjoy being together and look forward to coming to work to see each other. The
residents receive the overflow from that good team energy. The food serving team receives the
benefit of loving what they do and the amazing results their efforts bring about. They see it
happening each day.

Our B♥ Kind ® Tip: Thanks for the responsibility you shoulder and everything you do to honor
residents.

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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