Fine Dining in Detroit

The National Institute on Aging has published a two-part article entitled: Promoting Successful Eating in Long-Term Care: Relationships with Residents are Key. The premise is that individualizing diets and providing choice can increase resident intake and hydration. Broad concepts here, I'll be interested to see Part Two.

Here's a nice example of an establishment in Michigan that has found cost effective ways to improve resident dining. Here are several myths that keep many facilities from improving their dining program:
  • Our food costs will skyrocket if we give our residents more choices

  • We can't put condiments on the tables because residents with special diets will be jeopardized

  • Staff will be unable to manage the number of options

  • We can't eliminate seating arrangements because residents will be confused

  • We can't have a buffet or family style service because of infection control concerns

  • Food temperatures will be difficult to maintain in an open dining environment

Facilities are overcoming all of these obstacles. Surveyors are beginning to accept these culture changes, but until these concepts are the norm, there will be struggles. But I have been seeing with my own eyes the value of a restaurant-style dining program. We have a lot to learn and change, but our residents greatly benefit from the concepts of choice and variety. In the future I will elaborate on some of these concepts, but until then I invite you to share some of the things that your facility is doing to enhance dining services.

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