It is not a rocket science to not to understand the role played by food in everyone’s life. It is the life energy that determines the very way of living and life experience. As such an imperative factor, diet deserves a special mention in the assisted living facilities where the elderly live in with the needs and requirements that are distinctive from each other.
Considering the demands of the senior living communities, elders are in a great need of the nutrition that proactively fulfills their bodily needs. For elders, it is more than just a meal. This is the reason why the assisted living facilities duly focus on preparing their menu and follow it only after consulting the dietitians.
Ideally, the menu plan contains a variety of ingredients that not only meet the nutritional needs of the resident but also make delicious dishes while making the whole dining experience very pleasant. The general factors such as the reduced ability of taste, the side-effects of medications, change in the digestion and appetite patterns also need to be considered while preparing the diet charts. The additional factors including the cultural and social preferences of the food.
This is a complex process and the assisted living facilities follow a step by step guide while plotting the menu for the elders. Here are few consideration they take in while preparing the best food options for seniors.
1. Personalized Menu
• Personalizing the dining experience at the assisted living facilities is a very important aspect for a healthy aging experience.
• In the ideal assisted living communities, the chef and the serving staff inquire about the food and they consider the feedback of the residents to improve the quality of food.
• There will be interactive sessions between the chef and the housemates to clear any concerns or feedback.
• It is common to see a few residents with food restrictions due to their health conditions. The food needs to be prepared based on these restrictions for these elders.
2. Menu Reviewed by Nutrients
• The menu at the assisted living facilities is vetted by the nutrients who are experienced in geriatrics.
• The orchestration of menu at the senior community living centers by no means prepare food on ad hoc process. The ingredients and the dishes are planned well in advance.
• The nutrients check the nutritional values such as vitamin quotient, healthy fats, minerals and carbohydrates while ensuring that the food is meeting all the requirements of the elders.
3. Flexible Dining Options
• Not all the seniors in the community will have the same dining needs and requirements.
• The option of flexible dining will let the seniors accommodate themselves to a particular dining schedule rather than following a time that does not cope with their needs.
• The assisted living facilities also provide snacks and other eateries between the meals just to ensure that seniors are not low on their energy levels.
4. Food on Special Events
• Assisted living communities in India, especially in the culturally rich regions such as Chennai, follow a unique diet plan for the special events.
• These days allow the elders to enjoy the meals and snacks prepared in the authentic traditional ways.
• During the special days, food becomes more than just a bodily need. It becomes the reason for social gathering within the community to experience the essence of the cultural event.
Assisted Living Facilities serve more than just the accommodating havens for the elderly. They take care of the elders dining, living and well-being needs while providing advanced living solutions for the elderly.