By Steve Moran
Once a long long time ago senior living dining was not much better than what you would find in a college dorm cafeteria though often with even less flavor. There are enough calories to live on or, in many cases, get fat on. One or two choices for entrees, salad or soup (depending on the meal), white bread and margarine, Jello or pudding for dessert.
It was pretty easy to staff. Find someone who had cooked in a hospital, nursing home, school, or Denny’s and you were good to go.
In the last 10 or 15 years, dining has become a big thing in senior living, maybe even the biggest thing. No wonder that that is true. Everyone needs to eat and there is no better time for socializing and building and maintaining relationships than when breaking bread together.
As senior living dining evolved, the focus was on creating big flavorful meals with lots of options. While there was some sense that the meals should be healthy, the focus was mostly on flavor and quality.
A New Wave is Building
The evidence is clear, there is a direct link between healthy eating and healthy, happy bodies, and healthy, happy bodies in a senior living community mean three things:
- Residents live longer
- Residents require less staff assistance
- Higher occupancy
Figuring It All Out
I have become a huge fan of Harris Ader and the Senior Dining Association. He is passionate about senior living dining and has led senior living dining teams. Last spring I attended their conference and was blown away with how they are moving senior living dining forward by leaps and bounds.
Their second conference is coming up again April 26-29 in Orlando Florida. It is one of those events that you or your dining leaders need to attend if you want to be leading the way with your dining program. Your team will come back with new, fresh ideas and a renewed passion for how they are serving your residents.
I hope to see you there.
You can get more information and Register HERE.