Meals are important, and seniors like their food just as much as anyone else does. In fact, some older adults have become quite accustomed to the particular kinds of food they like. Food is part of a person’s social life, as well as physical and even emotional. Food can affect mood. Food can cause anxiety or foster contentment.
Nutrition is essential in any person’s health and well-being. If food doesn’t have a good taste, it is not eaten. To be nourishing, food must be eaten of course. You can ask staff at the assisted living center what their food is like, but the best way to know is to ask the people who eat it on a daily basis. See if you can go into the kitchen to watch it being prepared.
Questions to ask about the food, the service, and food safety
- Who fixes the meals and what time of day are they served?
- Do the cooks and food servers wear clean aprons and food safety hairnets?
- Are the meals served to the individual’s room if they cannot attend the dining room?
- Is there a variety of ethnic or cultural cuisines offered?
- Is there a choice of specialized diets for specific conditions such as celiac, diabetes, etc.?
- Can residents be involved in the menu planning?
- Who is in charge of the kitchen?
- Has there ever been any safety violations reported?
- Can residents ask for extra helpings if desired?
- Is the kitchen staff trained in food safety measures?
- What kind of snacking foods or beverages are available between meals?
It is much easier for assisted living staff to serve the meals in a dining hall, but sometimes your loved one may need some alone time or just desires to eat some meals alone in their room. Ask questions and find out if this is an acceptable procedure. Can she eat privately whenever she wants or only if she is ill and doesn’t feel like coming down to the common area?
Socializing is important, so the meal time can be a good time for your elderly loved one to chat and visit with other residents while she eats. It may be enjoyable for both your senior and you if you could drop in sometimes during meal time and see what it’s like. You can watch while the meal is being served as well as give your loved one some company and support.
When researching options for assisted living in Kemah, TX call us at (832) 315-3219. Assisted Living counselors at Serenity Gardens are available to talk with you about your caregiving needs while providing better, affordable care for you or a loved one