In a skilled nursing environment there are many therapies that need to be administered beyond the basic physical and occupational therapies. Recreation must engage a group in daily programming as well as a one-to-one experience. At Wilton Meadows we are grateful that our residents have the same one-to-one experience with their food.
The kitchen, led by Lenny Haynes, Director of Food and Nutrition and Dietitian Melanie Rotante not only provides an overall high-quality dining experience that is informed by the MyPlate Guide for eating well, it also learns the specific likes and needs of each resident. One team would be unable to cook 148 specialized meals daily, so they take steps to make every day special.
Residents can use the Birthday Lunch Request Forum yearly to request their favorite meal. No request is too extravagant. From fried chicken with steamed okra to crème brulee, the Wilton Meadows kitchen has found the opportunity to always satisfy our resident’s needs and wants, which we find one in the same.
When a resident’s hopes and wants are fulfilled on a personal level there is a piece of their history and soul that is touched. Food is more important than simply nutrition and satiation. Food is memory, excitement and love. When we provide the dishes that our residents love we are providing care. One could even argue that the special dishes are similar to one-to-one therapies.
The Breakfast Club is an authentic dining experience at Wilton Meadows. Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings residents gather in in the dining room for a Continental Breakfast. Chefs Ethan and Marco prepare each meal of bacon, eggs, muffins, and toast to the resident’s specific order. Everything from vegetable omelets to Belgian waffles with blueberries come to the table fresh and hot.
Staff from Certified Nursing Assistants, MDS Nurses and Administrative Managers all serve meals on these special days. It’s our team’s way of having the residence be a real home. Teasing and laughs are abound on these days.
At Wilton Meadows we recognize the joy in eating. Food fuels the soul. How you feel affects your daily interactions. The dining experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner includes music, tablecloths, and cloth napkins. We make sure to have meals as a social hour rather than simply focusing on food. We’ve seen residents well past the completion of their own meal sit with a friend for an extra half and hour. It is the community that puts the warmth in every day.
It’s been said that a true friendship is when you know how someone likes their coffee. From therapeutic recreation to volunteers we share and know how many sugars our resident like in their coffee. Serving food to feed the soul creates bonds and friendships between the staff and residents. Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month by making informed food choices together in happiness and joy. Food that is good for you can also taste good!
Learn more about Wilton Meadows at our website.