Getting proper nutrition is important at every age. Eating healthy keeps energy levels high, controls weight and supports better sleep. A healthy diet can also help to prevent some diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.
For many older adults, eating healthy may be important, but the act of eating loses its appeal. Many seniors report experiencing a loss of appetite. While some medications may contribute to not feeling hungry, there are many other reasons an older adult may lose interest in food. Here are the top eight:
Not getting enough exercise
Loss of taste
Feeling bored at mealtimes
Not having a routine
Difficulty with swallowing or chewing
Loneliness or depression
Lack of ability to prepare meals
When families seek a senior living community for their loved one, the quality of the dining experience is often one of the most important factors. It is good that families recognize the importance of senior nutrition and senior living dining experiences, because studies show that up to 60% of a resident’s day revolves around mealtimes.
Senior Living Dining Services
Senior living dining services teams at communities across the country are responsible for creating menus, serving residents, collecting residents’ input and working closely with dietitians, physicians and chefs to create healthy culinary selections and menu choices. For example, at Anthology of Northville and all the Anthology Senior Living communities, the Executive Chef pairs senior living dining trends with expertise in senior health and nutrition to prepare meals tailored specifically for each resident. And, with snack options available all day and night, food is always fun and accessible.
When considering a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, the senior dining experience should be a top priority. Taking a tour at mealtime allows the opportunity to sample the food, check out the menu choices and ask questions about food availability and diet considerations. Many senior living communities have on-site chefs and nutritionists or dietitians to help address senior nutrition needs. With an understanding of the challenges many seniors face at mealtime, such as loss of taste and changes in taste due to certain medications, senior living menu choices are created to keep the food full of flavor and to meet the specific needs of each resident. Communities are also able to accommodate specific diets and senior nutrition preferences, including low-sodium needs, non-dairy requirements, vegetarian preferences and low-sugar requirements.
Senior Dining Experiences
Senior living residents are more likely to desire flexibility, both in menu choices and in their choice of dining venues. This means that providers need to ensure that the senior living dining experiences they offer are truly extraordinary, as well as nutritious. Senior living communities, like Anthology of Simsbury, have answered this call by introducing a host of different senior dining options:
Cafés and Bistros
Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all senior living dining room. Now, many communities offer their residents dining venues that serve on demand, like grab-and-go cafés, bistros and coffee shops.
Pubs and Wine Bars
Senior living residents are adults—and they’ve lived full lives. It’s much more common nowadays for senior living providers to recognize and celebrate that by building full-service pubs and wine bars in their communities.
Some senior living communities have embraced the idea of growing and eating local fare. Community residents now eat a wide variety of produce that is grown locally and picked out by the community’s chef.
Eating Is a Family and Friend Affair
Dining together promotes healthy eating for seniors, especially for those living alone. This is because people naturally eat more around others and make better food choices. Often, seniors feel that cooking a big, healthy meal for one is too difficult and pointless, so they turn to prepackaged or frozen foods – or worse, they skip meals altogether.
Senior living communities, like Anthology of Olathe, recognize the importance of eating together, and many offer restaurant-style dining with a variety of well-balanced, healthy meals prepared by professional chefs. Residents who eat together have the opportunity to talk about the events of the day, recalling memories of eating with their families. New friendships often form and relationships grow while sitting around the table together.
Most importantly, the best senior living communities offer venues where residents and their family members WANT to come and enjoy the experience. After all, food always tastes better when it’s with family.
Senior Dining at Anthology Senior Living
Taking the full senior dining experiences of residents into account is a large part of what makes the senior dining program at Anthology Senior Living so special.
To create senior dining experiences that raise an interest in food, promote a social atmosphere, consider dietary needs and restrictions, and create an inviting feel, the team at Anthology works closely with chefs, nutritionists, dietitians and physicians; this collaboration has created the Entice Dining program. Each Executive Chef of the Anthology Entice Dining program recognizes the importance of tailoring distinctive, unique recipes for each resident’s needs.
At Anthology of Tuckahoe and each Anthology community, residents can enjoy a drink or sandwich in the pub with friends, share a new dish with family in the elegant dining room or simply sample a fresh-baked cookie in the bistro! Other Anthology senior dining experiences include:
New menus developed regularly
Dishes that meet residents’ nutritional needs
Food that inspires the taste buds and is easy to enjoy
Seasonal dishes and local favorites that are nutritionally rewarding
Healthy snacks available throughout the day and night
About Anthology Senior Living
At Anthology Senior Living, our care is based on supporting every aspect of our residents’ health – emotional, physical and mental. From our kitchen team to our fitness instructors and landscapers, every member of our team is committed to caregiving. Anthology Senior Living is able to care for residents and their families across a wide spectrum of needs and throughout the aging process. Anthology offers three levels of care: independent living, assisted living or personal care, and memory care.
All of Anthology Senior Living’s assisted living communities provide warm, dynamic care in a supportive, engaging environment. The team at Anthology manages everything to allow our assisted living residents to enjoy each day to its fullest. At all our communities, we provide housekeeping services, linen services, laundry and groundskeeping. Additionally, our highly certified care managers work closely with doctors and specialists, utilizing smart technology, to coordinate all resident care.
Interested in finding an Anthology Senior Living community near you? Visit our community finder to learn about all our locations!