How Managing Diet and Nutrition Becomes Simpler for Seniors at Assisted Living

In this day and age of fast food, multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns, frozen processed, easy-to-make dinners at your local supermarket, and a host of other factors, it has become extremely difficult for many people to even understand what their dietary needs happen to be. People barely understand what their nutritional needs are, let alone how to meet them in a society bombarding them with tasty alternatives. For seniors, diet and nutrition is critical, but it doesn’t get easier with age.

Just because an aging senior gets assistance from a family member, professional caregiver, or has moved into assisted living, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re getting the right diet and nutrition daily.

That’s why it’s so important, when choosing an assisted living facility as the elder care option of choice in the future for a senior, that you understand what type of dining options are available to him or her. The better assisted living facilities will have a restaurant style facility, not a cafeteria.

What’s the difference?

Assisted Living Saraland, AL: Managing Diet and Nutrition

Assisted Living Saraland, AL: Managing Diet and Nutrition

While ambiance and environment are certainly important to many people, including those who rely on elder care, it’s not just being able to sit down in a restaurant style facility, pick up a menu, browse the options, or even speak to the head chef, but also the diet and nutrition options that seniors can understand quickly and easily.

In facilities that rely on cafeteria style eateries, that tends to lead to fewer or less healthy choices for people. When a person gets to sit down and browse the menu and ask questions of the chef or waitstaff, they can learn more about the ingredients that go into various food items.

Imagine being 78, sitting down to a nice leisurely breakfast, and being able to ask the staff what type of sodium content, if there’s any vitamin C, or the amount of saturated fats or fatty foods or ingredients that are used in certain choices. They can get direct and honest answers. In some facilities, they can even speak to the chef personally, which can alleviate a lot of anxiety and doubts or fears among some seniors.

What about having input into the menu?

At a quality assisted living facility, this elder care option may also allow residents to have direct input into the menu choices available to them. Being able to have different options throughout the year can be a great asset because it not only changes things up and keeps them fresh, but it also takes into account what residents prefer, what dietary needs or restrictions are necessary, and so forth.

When a senior is struggling at home, depending on an adult child to help them, for example, they may not have a lot of input into the ingredients or food choices. At assisted living, at least a quality assisted living facility, they certainly can.

As March is National Nutrition Month, just because a person is in their 70s, 80s, or 90s, that doesn’t mean nutrition and diet fall by the wayside. In fact, depending on their health issues, medications they take, and other factors, it could still be quite relevant and this elder care option helps empower them.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living facility near Saraland, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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