Do you remember the Holiday dinners of your youth?

Do you remember the Holiday dinners of your youth?

“If you are of a certain age you will probably remember receiving some nuts, a few candies, and an orange or apple in the Christmas stocking you hung on the fireplace or other important spot in your house when you were a young child. My brothers and I were thrilled to get them.” A friend was telling me about her childhood memories. “We hung those stockings on the mantel of our faux fireplace not knowing how Santa could manage it not being a real one, but we just knew he would figure it out.”

Just like in today’s senior living communities, we have to figure out how to still have a wonderful holiday season for all to celebrate though we will have to make many adjustments and rearrangements from your normal planned festivities. “Those were wartime years and while there were fewer trimmings on the Christmas dinner table, we enjoyed all the main ingredients. I remember it well. I don’t remember what presents were under the tree, but I remember all our holiday dinners and the guests who sat with us.” Our Holiday dinners will continue to shine in assisted living and nursing communities even if guests will be absent this year of COVID-19. The main ingredients of caring, sharing, and kindness will be abundant within the community.

Anticipated conversations around the table will not be available to everyone this year. Some will be allowed with social distancing intact. Many will be dining in their own rooms without the chatter of friends and family around them at their favorite time of year and their favorite place for sharing. Residents may be lonely and feeling blue; food servers and staff are overworked and stressed. Everyone is trying to be in a jolly mood even when it is difficult. 

The smooth delivery of meals is more likely to come from a well-trained food serving team. This is what our Kind Dining  philosophy and now our on-line courses, prepare your serving team to do and how to remedy problems that arise unexpectedly. Each course is as unique as each participant.  Even though the curriculum is consistent, students take away beneficial knowledge, skills, and attitudes depending on their age, gender, culture, and individual work experience of each person. Every course brings something new that can be worked into building the great working relationship your community strives for during this holiday season.

The skills of your food serving team shine brighter when under the pressure of a holiday that may be lacking this year.

Our B Kind® Tip: You and your food serving team are crucial to your community’s Christmas holiday success.

Do you remember the Holiday dinners of your youth?

How are changes touching your life this year?

Changes are going on all the time, even in these pandemic times which have changed our lives dramatically in the last year. Most of the time, we don’t really take notice because our focus is on the responsibilities in our lives. The biggest change this year in senior care communities has been the closing of the dining areas where mealtimes were encouraged as social events. It was great for friends sharing time with long-known friends and for meeting new people who came into their community. For the food serving team, this pandemic change has been drastic but not impossible. New ways of serving residents who are under quarantine have stressed planners with how to accommodate residents in the best possible way. It is vital to help our residents keep their spirits up when they cannot socialize over lunch or dinner.

While a Kind Dining® education is encouraged in normal times. It is crucial to include staffers, who once covered other positions, in Kind Dining® training because they are now called into food service. They may not have a clue about the complexities of their duties when serving meals and in contact face to face with older people. Leadership and management will do well if they consider endorsing this training to keep the high standards their community has achieved. It is time to empower employees to perform and make decisions that will be right for residents. Many of those older people are sensing loneliness and abandonment issues. Positive attitudes carried by your food serving team will overflow to those receiving meals with gratefulness. Smiles at the corner of your eyes are infectious. The joy of pleasant conversation adds to the health of the resident through hospitality. The chef helps by offering more comfort foods than usual and adding extra desserts to menu options. 

The changes in the daily routines of the community often affect the staff in a negative way. While they are showing extra care toward the residents they also suffer from the separation of not being able to be social with their coworkers. Of course, the fear of bringing the coronavirus home to their families is an additional fear. So all are touched by this pandemic that has us learning about extreme caution to everyone we come near or in contact with our daily routines at work.

Our B Kind® Tip:  Remember, just by coming to work today, you make a difference.