Eating three well-balanced meals daily is important no matter a person’s age and assisted living and memory care residents look forward to these times of day. But when they aren’t pleased with the offerings, their quality of life can be impacted. Nutritious, well-prepared meals are a vital part of healthy, vibrant senior living, and an important feature to consider when comparing communities.
It’s All About Choices
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner presentations can be served at set times in dining areas or be brought to rooms, depending on the individual’s needs. It feels nice to sit down for a meal and to be able to choose from different food options or have them delivered. And let’s face it: who doesn’t love being waited on?
Dining menus for assisted living communities like The Gardens at Quail Springs typically change every day, but some items like oatmeal or hamburgers might always be available. For most meals, assisted living food menus typically have a protein option, plus side dishes, hot and cold drink choices, and dessert. Many also have vegetarian entrees, gluten-free meals, and other items. Residents who are diabetic or have other dietary restrictions are well taken care of and that information gets set up before a resident moves in.
Residents who do not have their meals in the building’s dining halls or cafes can enjoy them in their rooms. If this is needed, ask about how they are prepared and ensure that everything served is just as fresh as what is plated for the main dining areas.
Finding Out What’s on the Menu
The best way to compare assisted living food menus in different communities is to visit them during meal times. If you happen to know a resident, ask to be invited as a guest – otherwise, set up a tour and request a seating. Try several different foods and pay attention to what is going on around you. Here are things to think about while browsing the menu and sampling the offerings:
- Look for appealing, healthy food and drink items
- Check for special diet choices
- See if the entrees match the descriptions on the menus
- The freshness of the food
- Portion sizes
Most importantly, listen to what the residents are saying about the food. It is always good to hear positive feedback and that can help with your decision-making. And feel free to ask the community’s team members questions, too – for example, inquire about special meals for holidays and themed events like Italian dinner nights. It’s also a good idea to ask for copies of the weekly menus. This way, you can see the day-to-day variety.
Benefits of a Well-Rounded Assisted Living Food Menu
Malnutrition can impact older adults and when it happens, their quality of life declines. It starts when they are not eating enough or getting the right nutrients. Well-rounded menus encourage them to sample different things they might not try otherwise. Just as importantly, there is more access to the right kinds of food, with everything from crisp broccoli to flavorful meatloaf. Once residents become accustomed to having these kinds of choices, they can feel healthier, more energetic, and become interested in social activities.
These menus usually have heavier and lighter foods to choose from and this works well because anyone’s appetite and mood varies from day to day. Residents’ eyes often light up as they browse the menus and locate things that align with their personal tastes. Some prefer making lunch their heaviest meal of the day while others eat the most at breakfast or dinner. It really is a luxury to be able to do this and this is one of the main reasons why mealtimes are looked forward to with so much enthusiasm.
Set Up an Appointment To Sample Our Dining Menu
Contact us to tour the Quail Springs neighborhood and enjoy a fresh meal prepared and served by our team members. We can answer all your questions and share weekly and monthly menu information.
**This article should not replace medical advice. Talk with your doctor regarding any issues you may experience, especially if you suspect memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.