Q&A: Residents Taking Food Back to Their Rooms



Q: We only offer room service when resident is sick. Our residents sometimes bring their containers up and take their food down. What do you think of this? I am in an assisted living center.

A. I have experienced the same situation, with residents putting fruit into their empty water glass and taking it back to their room. I think the best approach is to brainstorm a solution with all staff involved. One idea may be to offer a small disposable container option, or foil wrapper that you provide, similar to what restaurants do. Propose your plan to your administrator and resident food committee as a way to be more professional and sanitary in handling food residents haven’t eaten from their meal.

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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