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Memories Made During Meal Time

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We all have memories of cooking with our family during the holidays, catching up with friends at a local restaurant, or laughing with loved ones over a home cooked meal. So many of our favorite times are spent while sharing a meal with those we are closest with. What is it about food that connects us to others and provides an incomparable sense of community? There is so much more meaning to food than just the nutrition behind it. 

For memory care residents, mealtimes are even more important. A good dining experience has a strong impact on cognitive recognition and helps enhance social interaction in senior care homes. Senior residents who regularly eat alone can be at a higher risk for a variety of health issues, such as malnutrition and depression. Eating together provides many benefits for a resident’s mental health and physical well-being. In a senior care home, it is important for the dining area to have a familiar, home-like atmosphere to promote socialization and delicious, visually stimulating meals reminiscent of homemade favorites and comfort foods, right inside our senior communities. Each dining time offers a valuable opportunity to get everyone involved in the senior care homes and socialize with friendly faces. 

Harmony Senior Services’ Signature Memory Care Program, Reflections, focuses on learning as much about our resident’s family, friends, habits, and history to create a welcoming environment. As a family serving families company, we care for our memory care residents like they are truly a part of our own family. Not only do we always provide a balanced diet with a variety of foods, Harmony also offers the opportunity for residents and their families to share their favorite recipes that makes Harmony feel like home. Incorporating familiar meals to those individuals facing memory loss can help their dining experience be more calm and comfortable and supports necessary social interaction needed for maintaining cognitive health. 

According to a study, one in five seniors say that they feel the loneliest when eating by themselves. There are many benefits of seniors dining together in our specially designed Harmony Square dining rooms:

  • Social dining promotes healthy nutrition habits for seniors
  • Consistent meal times support bonding, communication, and making new friends
  • Dining together can stimulate positive memories of eating with family and loved ones
  • Our caring staff adheres to an “All Hands On Deck” policy for meal times to offer additional assistance when needed
  • Every meal incorporates all of the essential vitamins and nutrition needed for our senior residents to stay healthy
  • Social dining allows seniors to explore outside of their private apartment in a safe and secure environment

 

One of the oldest traditions we still have today is mastering inherited family recipes and cooking tips from our loved ones and eventually passing them down generation to generation. These are memories that many of us hold close to and share stories of, especially as we age. The reality is, food is the way to most of our hearts. People find happiness at the kitchen table surrounded by their loved ones eating their favorite meal. At Harmony, we place a special emphasis on meaningful social engagement during every meal time that creates memorable moments for all of our memory care residents. 

 

Sources: 

Seniors and Nutrition: Eating Together is Better | ASC Blog (asccare.com)

Food & Eating | Alzheimer's Association

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