Imagine the increased resounding joy at a holiday party where all the residents are able to savor the same tasty treats!

By Pam McDonald

Oh yay! The holidays are upon us. Your communities look and sound festive. The rituals have begun. The halls are decked and dining rooms are filled with aromas that evoke warmth and nostalgia. What better time than during the holidays to give the gift of inclusion to people who are sometimes forgotten in your celebrations?

In senior living that often means residents who need assistance with dining – individuals with cognitive, neuromuscular, or chewing disorders as well as those with joint stiffness, and diminished eyesight. Grind Dining™ offers a solution to unintentional marginalization of residents with physical and cognitive limitations.

Finger Foods for All

Grind Dining™, a dining management consultant company and Senior Housing Forum partner, has developed an innovative method that uses your community’s menu, your quality ingredients, and your talented staff to transform meals into small bite-sized portions that are nutritional, visually attractive, easy to handle, easy to chew and swallow, and eaten without caregiver assistance.

Founded by Chefs Sarah Gorham and Stone Morris, Grind Dining™ strives to enhance the quality of life of those who have difficulty eating unassisted. It offers a dignified and engaging dining experience that meets individual and nutritional needs of seniors.

Chef Sarah explains, “We apply our patent-pending techniques to cooked and freshly ground foods in a way that retains their full taste, texture, and flavor. Then we present the meal as various bite-size morsels.”

The company is gaining regional and even national attention. Last year Grind Dining™ received the Best of the Best Award for the “Dining with Dignity” program from Argentum (formerly ALFA).

Chef Stone says, “Research shows a pleasurable dining experience leads to higher satisfaction ratings among residents and drives higher occupancy levels. Our experience shows that pleasurable dining can easily be made available to all residents and, with it, a return to dining with dignity for many of them.”

The founders share their expertise through their “Eat with IDA” blog. They call it IDA because each had loved ones named Ida who inspired them and also because the acronym stands for Independence, Dignity, and Accessibility!

Benefit and Results

Among the benefits and results Sarah and Stone have seen with Grind Dining™ are:

  • Possible reduction of food costs for finger food diets

  • Less caregiver assistance needed at mealtime

  • More meals are eaten

  • Memory care residents improve meal intake by more than thirty percent

  • Resident independence is promoted

  • It is cost effective in capital, labor, and food cost

  • The need for menus separate from the main dining room is eliminated

Imagine the increased resounding joy at a holiday party where all the residents are able to savor the same tasty treats!

Finger foods start with a traditional meal . . .

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. . . and are transformed by a patent-pending grinding process into small bite-sized portions that are easy to handle, easy to chew, and easy to swallow – without caregiver assistance.

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