What makes your residents want to stay in your community?

What makes your residents want to stay in your community?

And thats where it all began...senior couples on a double date at a cafe

A friend told me recently that while having lunch at a local café, she overheard this conversation from the booth next to hers and could hardly wait to repeat it to me.

“I just found a larger senior living community with more amenities than where my mom is living. I researched it thoroughly, and when I told her about it, and all the extras offered that she doesn’t have, guess what she said? ‘No, thank you. I love where I am now. I’ve made new friends that I won’t leave them behind. Our group meets every day at noon for lunch, and we have the best time!  Mike always has a funny story to tell, and Maryann comes up with one interesting subject or another. She’s a writer, you know. We make plans and go to whatever special program is happening for the day. After dinner together, we get a card game going. That is the most fun! No, dear. Thank you, but I’m having more fun than in the old neighborhood, so I’m not going anywhere.’ I was surprised to hear her so enthused. It’s the happiest I’ve seen her in a long time.”

Her lunch companion replied. “So, you don’t have to feel guilty about encouraging her to sell up and move into the senior community?”

“Feel guilty? I’m collecting congratulations and applause. She went on to tell me how easy her life is now. Huge amounts of work and household responsibilities are gone. No more lonely nights. Replaced with fun time. She has even taken up genealogy to research the family line. I’ve never seen my mother so engaged in living! Really. The staff are all nice and friendly, even to family visitors. She has staff favorites that she now tells me about. She knows who is going to college and who will be a grandma for the first time. My mother has become amazing. All thanks go to her senior living community ‘family’ as she calls them.”

Our Kind Dining® training curriculum was designed to create that true home feeling for your residents that comes from how your staff interacts with them and each other. Once seniors move into your community, it is the warmth of caring that comes, especially from your food serving team, that makes them feel at home. Offer training to your employees to hone the skills that achieve the results you want for your company. Well-trained employees are a powerful asset. Invest in your staff and save the cost of hiring new employees. Keep in mind that happy residents don’t move out!

Cindy has a passion for food and hospitality and a unique approach to it. When you hire her to train your staff virtually, she will bring the energy and expertise that reinvigorates your entire organization to embrace customer service with a new mindset that produces positive results”.

Kind Dining – Hospitality makes the difference!

B♥ Kind Tip: Encourage your staff to show they care by interacting with your residents.

Does your company and employees make the best choices?

Does your company and employees make the best choices?

A great way to invest is to encourage them to do their very best on the job. Let them know that you see their potential, expect them to do their best, and that your company believes in them and depends on them.

Remember that complimenting good work will encourage one to continue doing one’s best, whereas criticizing an employee will create resentment, resulting in a declining desire to put extra effort into improving one’s work.

Allow your employees to learn how to make better choices that will enhance their working relationships from training and practice sessions. Choosing to do their best is a conscious decision. Making a better choice to do your best on the job also changes every aspect of your life. You don’t turn it off at the end of each workday. The results of better choices go with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

At the same time, it is important that the ambiance for your senior living community announces it is a choice to look forward to making your home with them. It is the next chapter in a progressing life that will be different but a residence for looking forward. To live in your community is a choice that eradicates worry about house maintenance and expensive repairs. It is a time to have complete enjoyment after a lifetime of responsibilities. The retirement referred to, is retirement from excessive burdens and obligations freeing up time and energy to enjoy interesting, appealing and leisurely mealtimes, meet new friends and invite longtime friends to join you in a different way of life. One suited to your changing lifestyle. One sought after.

To accommodate those pleasures for your new residents, it is necessary to have staff who made their choice to love the work they do. They are the major part of creating this senior living community ambiance. Menu offerings and dining decor can be adjusted and changed to suit taste, but the food serving team must offer their best service each time they serve any kind of repast. Their performance will be noted and work for your community or against it. Word of mouth is the best advertisement you can have, and your food servers are the ones that create that desired commentary.

Kind Dining® curriculum and training/refresher sessions, teach your employees how to create the desired effect you want by honing their skill set. Let your staff step up a notch by being at their best by incorporating kindness and generosity to residents and other staff into their daily habits.

Create a community where you would want to call home.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Let your staff step up a notch by being at their best.

Does your staff realize how alien your community is to a new resident?

Does your staff realize how alien your community is to a new resident?

senior alone looking far away

 

What makes your residents want to stay in your community?

Many older adults have the wrong impression of what a senior living community is like. Just because an individual moves into your community doesn’t mean he/she is happy there. It is often more difficult for an older person to make new friends. It takes time to adjust to a new environment, new daily routines, unfamiliar faces, and not all the home things surrounding them that make a person comfortable. It isn’t easy for some to step solo into a game or activity room, even if the sounds of enjoyment are carried in the air. Many, particularly women, have never entered a restaurant on their own, let alone sat and ate lunch or dinner by themselves.

Amenities in a community are useless if a resident is too shy to walk into the activity room. This is another area where the Kind Dining® training curriculum excels. Our training sessions include introducing soft skills to your staff and teaching how to use pleasant chitchat with residents.

How to greet a new resident and escort them into a dining room or to a table that will happily make room for them will come naturally after some practice. Small acts of consideration tell residents they are welcome and will soon feel like they are at home.

The goal is to make your community an excellent place for your residents to live and for your staff to work. Our training helps your employees reshape their way of thinking so they can transform their lives into positive ones, and it will let your residents know that they have chosen the right place to live.

With training and practice, all your employees will be able to recognize the body language of a resident, which will show them that caring attention is needed. They will also learn to make on-the-spot decisions that can turn a sad situation into a happy one.

All the staff must understand and be fully aware of the stress and emotions of some new residents trying to settle in.

Helping residents feel they belong and are part of a big family is the responsibility of every person who works in the community. Kind Dining® training also allows your employees to befriend each other.

Remember that the community your staff knows well is strange and unknown to a newcomer. It is a new chapter for them that can be the happiest time of their lives if they engage in it fully. Your staff can help with that and make life good for them.

B♥ Kind Tip: Staff can turn an unhappy new resident into an “I love it here” resident.

Does your staff include kindness in their every day work?

Does your staff include kindness in their every day work?

A group of cheerful seniors enjoying breakfast in nursing home care center. Kind Dining

Do your food servers know the crucial role they play as they interact with residents during mealtimes?

Do they know kindness is one of the skills needed to play that role successfully?

Many residents and even other staff suffer from an emotional disconnect in workplace relationships when kindness is ignored. We all know mealtimes are the best chance your organization has to impress your diners with an experience they will delight in repeating to other potential residents.

That experience should have kindness teamed with the serving skills each of your staff carries. They must always remember that their service enables you to have full capacity in a competitive marketplace.

Speaking of kindness, did you know Japan started a World Kindness Day, soon observed by the USA, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, and later Singapore, Italy, and India joined in?

Japan is commonly known as the world’s most polite country with its tradition of selfless hospitality. (Wouldn’t it be great to have your community known as the kindest?) They emphasize the necessity of a global kindness movement.

Think of the impact, that following their lead can have on your community when the staff accepts the challenge and agrees to support the interplay of kindness. It is also commonly known that intentional acts of kindness start a ripple reaction that will affect the thoughts and feelings of those on the receiving end. It affects the giver, too. Picture a cascade of kindness in your community.

With a career that began in the hospitality business before working in healthcare, I’m more excited than ever to work with communities that step out of the past and into the future. They transform their dining styles of service.

Skills and positive attitudes in staff behavior make a huge difference to a newcomer who is acclimating to the community.

A small kindness, even a smile extends a feeling of welcome to a new resident nervous about her choice of a home. Striking up a meaningful conversation is the beginning of building a solid relationship that will reinforce a sense of comfort and belonging. Actively listen to their reply so you can ask a follow-up question. Show that you are sincere in your interest.

Kindness is a skill that has a powerful influence yet is easily learned when introduced in training and refreshing sessions. It is a skill that can be incorporated with Kind Dining® curriculum that includes other skills going hand in hand. These are skills that can lead to making your community known as the kindest community available!

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Make every day in your community a reflection of World Kindness Day.

Instilling civility into your food serving team makes positive, lifetime changes.

Instilling civility into your food serving team makes positive, lifetime changes.

Multi-ethnic group of contemporary young people collaborating on work project while standing in circle in modern office and smiling cheerfully

A few on the second shift food serving team gathered at a table for their dinner break. They picked up the conversation where they left off earlier about their pre-shift training session that morning.

“With a little more practice, I think everyone on our team will have Module 6 down pat. We have all learned about being friendly and chatting with the residents, recognizing that our community is the place they chose to call home.

Now that the only bully on our team has been replaced, we can honestly say that we show courtesy and respect to each other as well as to our residents.

I’m sorry we couldn’t help her change her attitude to a positive one. It affected her work and created resentment among the residents. Once the residents got used to the care and consideration from the rest of our team, they rejected her outright! But we all tried in our different ways to reach out to her and refused to react to her bullying.”

“You know, our encouragement and guidance worked with Sally. She often says how our working together to show her the intentional, positive way of working has changed her life! She certainly has gone from glum and gloomy to a cheerful woman who now loves coming to work each day! We should all wear a little red heart sticker or pin on our uniform to show how much we do care.”

She laughed in case anyone may think that was a silly idea.

The newest person recently hired piped up. “I learned part of her lesson, the part that being civil was not the same thing as being neutral or reserved. I’ve learned it means lifting someone through kindness, courtesy, and caring. Like hospitality! Right? Don’t you always say hospitality and healthcare go together?”

He was proud of his learning and moving forward with the team.

Kind Dining® training sessions alleviate the problem of bullies without pointing a finger at one person but by bringing improved ways of working, introducing and stressing civility to all on the food serving team.

Create a team working toward the same goal and dissolving the problems of anyone who behaves like a bully.

Open discussions regularly with the entire food serving group and encouraging new ideas from the very people who do the serving instill leadership qualities and trust in their coworkers including administration.

Aging adults are particularly aware of the atmosphere that exists around the people who serve meals to them three or four times a day. It is easy to notice when someone strays from team goals for whatever reason.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Have your food servers learned what civility truly means?

Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Picture of an open book with a glasses on top of it

 

Do your community supervisors continue to read research on how to secure and keep healthy employees?

Do they know why it is necessary to have healthy employees and how it benefits your residents and your community?

Do they know the benefits of teamwork?

Research results reveal that employees who work together as a team show better communication skills with residents as well as with their teammates. When they share the same goals with staff members on their team, they are impacted with a sense of respect and are apt to perform their duties with a lighter step. This especially refers to employees in a minority, whether gender, race, or age.

A team member will feel accepted and know they will be treated as fairly as their teammates.  They also are reassured that they will not suffer any kind of harassment. This affects health and creates decisions to stay on the job.

A healthy employee seeks to improve their performance, will have the patience to be kinder, and gentler, and will create positive relationships with both their coworkers and the residents.

Kind Dining® encourages practicing teamwork relationships, ideas, and sharing opinions, to strengthen new, team-building habits.

Occupational friendships with teammates convey a sense of belonging that works on behalf of an employee’s health. It’s a small kindness, to extend a hand or smile, that creates a huge response.

Kind Dining®  training sessions teach that learning and practicing together promotes team culture.

The presentation and serving of meals are a complex choreography. Teammates learn to have each other’s back when someone falters. This builds trust and a winning team.

My research has proven that building meaningful relationships helps aging services communities attract residents, retain staff, and create a community where your employees and your residents feel like they belong in this very place. By mastering the fundamentals of attention, respect, and kindness, you too can improve the experience of everyone in your community.

Kind Dining® is approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs, & NDTRs.  CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

For CDMs, CEUs are from the Certifying Board of Dietary Managers (CBDM). 9 General, 1 Sanitation, 1 Ethics.

Why does the brain like learning?

It’s freeing the cognitive capacity so it can seek out new information and learn. To keep our brain in tip-top shape, it needs exercise. And learning something new is the best workout we can provide. Habits and routines follow neural pathways that are well-developed and etched deep into our brains.   – Jan 21, 2022

Click here to learn more at the National Library of Medicine.

Be ♥ Kind: Build meaningful, occupational relationships to attract residents, retain staff, and create a winning community.

Do you pay attention to your residents’ suggestions?

Do you pay attention to your residents’ suggestions?

Do your residents ever make a complaint or suggest the food service?

Do you take the time to listen? Or do you try to change their mind before they even finish saying what they have on their mind?

It costs absolutely nothing to pause, stop what you are doing, look them in the eye, and listen.

Whatever you were doing can wait a minute or two. It can. But it could cost a great deal if your resident doesn’t get the satisfaction that their thoughts are important to you (and the company) if you don’t. You don’t want to have a resident move to a different community because they feel invisible to you.

Residents must feel they are valued, and their opinions are valued by you and your company.

You also don’t have to agree with what they are saying. You do have to acknowledge their comments. You can sympathize with them, offer to carry their thoughts to someone who can help, and you can certainly thank them for telling you.

They must have confidence in you, or they would have gone to someone else.

Think about that. It is building relationships by way of communication and a responsibility that is part of your training in the culture of person-centered care. Let your elders know that they matter to you and your company. Your consideration will create a loyal resident, instill a sense of belonging, and show respect. It will also demonstrate the excellent training your company has provided for you.

Communication is at the heart of the culture change taking place in the business of Aging Services.

Determination and persistence in practice at training sessions pay off.

Cultural change in your community marries healthcare with hospitality.

Kind Dining® knows the results for a company that invests in every employee by supplying excellent training. Educated employees are more efficient, have positive attitudes, are prepared to take on responsibility, and know they are valued. Properly trained employees work as a team and are aware of rules and codes of conduct.

They are more likely to adhere to health codes, so you pass surprise inspections with flying colors. Everyone wins when employees have proper training and listening is part of that training.

Kind Dining® is approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs and NDTRs.  CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credential agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Do you demonstrate your excellent training?

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

young waitress smiling

The two women were walking down the hallway heading towards the kitchen to begin their work shift at an independent living community. They just finished a segment of the training session and were discussing their opinions.

“First of all,” the older one said, “I never heard the term ‘soft skills’ and I certainly didn’t realize I had them. Timewise I’ve probably worked longer on our food serving team than most anyone else.

I learned early to adapt to the many changes made over the years. With my natural curiosity, I communicate easily with the residents, and as you know, with my coworkers.

I think my mom taught me about empathy and she always encouraged learning new skills.

I’m glad they taught those things in today’s training session. Many of our coworkers need to learn those skills. Some are downright stubborn and need to add these skills to their toolbox.

I love my job, always have, right from the beginning, so learning new ways to work has always excited me.”

“Well, I thank you for taking me under your wing and guiding me when I needed it,” replied the younger woman, obviously newly hired.

“I’m also really delighted with this Kind Dining® training module number 3 because, like you, I love learning new ways to work.

I plan to stay in this community, so I want to be a top-notch team player. You make yourself available to talk with me about our work. I enjoy that and discussing what we just learned helps me even more. I appreciate that.”

One person can make a difference.

It’s called the Power of One and it often begins with helping a change of attitude, to encourage learning new ways that change a person’s life and changes the life around them, all for the better.

Discussion after learning sessions brings what they were taught to a personal level and embeds the information like a file cabinet where the content can be brought out and used again and again. What was learned becomes second nature; building confidence.

Kind Dining® curriculum was created to change lives for the better.

Our training is an opportunity to introduce new skills, but more importantly, it’s a way to reshape thinking that will transform the lives of your employees.

Your food serving team will take note of the residents’ increased satisfaction as they receive small acts of consideration, Such as starting a meal with a smile from your server. Add pleasant chitchat and watch the residents at the table light up. It’s good to be recognized.  The goal is to make your community a great place to live and a great place to work! Life is good.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Encourage learning new ways to work, it changes the life around them.

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) chart

Do you know what the most successful companies look for in an applicant when hiring?

They seek a person with the combination of skills that enable a person to learn, relearn, and relearn again.

We know how rapidly changes are happening in our long-term care communities. Our industry has been experiencing major changes and upgrading of services.

People with EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) can easily learn the changes necessary to keep their community reputation far above their competition. Those people understand, empathize, and conquer unexpected and distressing situations that arise in the kitchen, dining room, or anywhere in the community.

Building strong workplace relationships comes naturally to those with emotional intelligence as they turn intention into performance with the ability to command perceptive decisions.

The EQ skills that Kind Dining® training sessions have been teaching include self-management, which is controlling your emotions in healthy ways by adapting to changes in work responsibilities and taking initiative.

We’ve been training in the skills of empathy, active listening, social interaction, and group dynamics. Relationships, including how to build bonding relationships to inspire and create a team that works together are stressed in our training.

In our training of skills, we teach how your emotions affect your thoughts, and behavior and how to build self-confidence. If you cannot control your stress it can lead to serious physical health problems high blood pressure, a reduced immune system, and an increase in earlier aging.

As a long-term care provider, you want your community to be the leader in your industry, surpassing any competition. Your employees can do that with the training of these skills that benefit your residents, your community, and your employees themselves.

We have returned to ask healthcare providers their thoughts on what advantages they gained from our training.

Working better as a team and improved communication with both coworkers and residents stood out among others in their answers. After completing the training curriculum, the learners thought and acted differently!

Nearly all agreed with this statement: Kind Dining has helped me to understand my role and the importance of teamwork to enhance dining and nutrition for residents in my care center.

Yes, hospitality and healthcare go hand in hand.

Kind Dining® training sessions were designed for all employees who serve meals or beverages, including nursing and wellness teams,  housekeeping departments, recreation staff, and managers.

Food servers that learn the skills of emotional quotient are a powerful asset to the company. When they perform with self-confidence from the skills Kind Dining® teaches, they provide quality service. Sessions are now available online.

Do your employees stay with your community?

Do your employees stay with your community?

Higher retention image with a man in a suit

A retired friend told me recently how she made an excellent living in the old days, by being a waitperson during the years of raising a family.

“I was good at it. My aunt trained me,” she said. “I was pleasant and paid close attention to my customers’ tables without obviously staring at them. With my ‘regulars,’ I remembered what their preferences were. That impressed them. I pampered them without fussing and I was thoughtful and kind.

It was just a matter of good manners carried a little further. It works very well. I was more than civil to my coworkers and often stepped in to help when it was needed. We all wanted to get the food to the table while it was still hot. Of course, in return, they responded with the same kindness. I loved my customers, my work, the wait staff, and the results it brought.”

When any query is raised about improving work performance, training, and education are always at the top of the list. It’s unfortunate, but not everyone was raised with good manners and showed consideration for others.

In communities, serving older adults it is imperative to display those fine qualities along with the professional skills learned for fulfilling your responsibility. Residents receiving physical help are in dire need of kindness and consideration.

Coworkers who are sometimes overworked and may have personal problems of their own running around in their heads, also appreciate a helping hand from another teammate. That kind of relationship with a coworker builds commitment to the job and the community.

A few minutes of chit-chat creates cultural conditioning, shows respect, and establishes trust between coworkers. These may seem like small doings but they are important social skills that make a better environment. Employees stay on the job when they are content with their working relationships.

Kind Dining® training curriculum has impressed companies with the value of educated, multi-skilled, kind, and civil employees.

It is commonly understood that well-trained employees, confident in their work, remain on the job much longer than those without proper training. Our online courses are for your full and part-time, direct care workers, and managers.

Our training sessions are experiential. We train by using action, reflection, application, and performance.

All employees build empathy to respect the aging process by using kindness to connect with residents. They also learn to build solid, trusting relationships with their coworkers.

We teach personal and professional skills that improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Help residents feel they made the right decision by moving into your community. Remember you are the face of the organization.

 

Are your employees familiar with experiential training?

Are your employees familiar with experiential training?

2 chefs in kitchen

Finding a new approach to dining in Residential care communities while still keeping within the present budget has been introduced by trending chef leaders of creative community dining. Using fresh, local food supplies to serve on order ala restaurant-style dining is here and is doing well.

Creative menus offer wholesome foods that taste as good as the food looks and are healthier than the cafeteria-style and cooking from canned foods and steam tables.

Chefs are preparing foods with herbs and seasonings to replace unnecessary sodium that most seniors are avoiding for health reasons.

Mealtimes are the most popular events of the day for socializing at the table, meeting new neighbors, and sharing with friends. Residents reject loneliness and isolation when looking forward to mealtimes as a time to make plans and share stories.

Upcoming chefs are redesigning their kitchen work habits to accommodate new ways of cooking on order and serving fine dining meals.  Establishing salad and casual snack bars replaces time-consuming efforts in the kitchen that can be used for other preparations.

Meetings encouraging the food serving team to offer their ideas and comments allow everyone to be part of the changes taking place. This inspires the food serving team to be more aware of the care they use in serving residents and will alert them to the importance of their work.

Creating new and better ways to serve meals is a time for unique opportunities for reviewing the work habits of every staff member who serves meals. Instilling a sense of pride in one’s work through meetings and discussions where each person on the food serving team has the freedom to be part of the transformation. 

Kind Dining® training sessions are designed for all employees who lift a plate of food, or even deliver a beverage to a resident.

It includes full or part-timers, nursing and caregivers, housekeeping department staff, and department managers.

Your food serving team is a powerful asset to the company when they are giving quality service.

Employees are cross-trained in our fun, focused, practical skills and competency curriculum which teaches how each meal can be an enjoyable experience.

Kind Dining® developed virtual training instruction online workshops for easier access. The goal is to help food servers work better by working wisely, while still learning how to expand their knowledge in their work field.

Would your food serving staff like to advance their skills?

Would your food serving staff like to advance their skills?

Smiling Restaurant Staff Gesturing Thumbs Up Against White KInd Dining Trainees

Is the goal for your long-term care community to be superior in service to other communities in your area? To have your reputation rise above all others? To be a top-notch community where service people want to work, and aging adults want to live? If you answer yes, it is time to introduce lifetime learning to your staff.

Kind Dining® has helped staff understand and improve their role and the importance of teamwork to enhance dining and nutrition for residents by adding new ways to their workday.

Learning ‘mindset before skill and tool set’, including soft skills, to their present skills to become a valuable member of the food serving team.  These soft skills of conscientiousness, personal reflection, and development, added to experience and mentorship, are learned through our Kind Dining® training sessions. Their soft skills become power skills.

We have revisited staff who benefitted from our curriculum to hear what they learned from Kind Dining® training sessions. The following are a few of the replies received:

“I’m more compassionate, take my time to listen, and make their mealtime more enjoyable. Helped in the serving department and treated the residents as if they were in a restaurant setting. I am more aware of how I serve the resident their food. Try to breathe through my nose before I respond. When something goes wrong.” – Caregiver

“Remembering to have empathy, remembering that the care center is a home, showing kindness to everyone.”   -Activities

“I am rephrasing how I want to explain things to the resident. I’m making the food look more presentable and prettier for the residents.” Cook

“I engage in more conversations, and I am more attentive to the needs of the residents when they are dining in the dining room.” Caregiver

“Dining as a community event and the role of food in healing.” Nurse

Quietly send your mother to have dinner in your dining room:

  • Would she experience a well-oiled team working together?
  • Would the dining room be full of smiles?
  • Would her needs be satisfied without asking?
  • Would she receive kindness and compassion?
  • Would the staff exchange polite words with her?
  • Would she be served an appetizing and nutritious meal?
  • Would you be delighted with the report she brought back to you?

Be committed to hospitality and healthcare in your community by enrolling your staff in continuous learning with Kind Dining® training. Help your staff advance their skills. Kind Dining® training modules, now offered online, will save your company time and money.

Check them out at KindDining.com

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Superior teamwork enhances the dining experience for residents.

Do your menus reflect a food serving team that cares?

Do your menus reflect a food serving team that cares?

healthy food serving

“When my husband and I decided it was time to move to a senior living community, the first thing I said was, ‘I’m going to miss going out to restaurants to dine.’ Mrs. Long was talking with her friend about her and her husband’s plans. 

“As seniors, after struggling financially in the early years of marriage, building careers, raising the family, doing without to save money for the kids’ colleges, we finally reached the level where we could eat out as often as we pleased. You know that is something I enjoy. 

But I’m delighted that our senior living community has a chef-inspired menu. It’s like going to a restaurant and dining out every day. A bonus to that picture is we don’t need to be cautious about salt in our food. The kitchen is already aware of that hurdle.”

“What is chef-inspired food?” asked her friend.

“Well, it’s not the old way of cooking masses of food delivered in large cans and kept hot on steam tables where you have no choice, only to eat what they are serving that day.

It means creative menus with choices, fresh vegetables, and foods prepared with herbs and seasonings to bring out the flavor without using salt.

Our food is prepared when we order it, not hours earlier, and kept hot. It also means a plate set before you with beautifully arranged food to whet your appetite even if you aren’t hungry.

Again, it means going to a restaurant every day to dine on food that makes me feel at home. It means a meal we want when we want it.  What is not to love about that!”

Kind Dining® training encourages members of the food serving team to offer new ideas and suggestions to consistently be aware of upgrading and improving meals for their residents.

It is vital that dining in the community matches the elegance of residents’ rooms, apartments, and the amenities of their community.

Residents who experience high-quality food service are overall contented and happy. Mealtimes are still the high points of the day.

Your residents must find the food to be fresh in all aspects. These dining hours are an opportunity to build the community’s reputation. Build on that thought and invest in your food serving teams for a higher return on each trained food server. Food servers include nursing/health services, care staff, housekeeping departments, and managers. Your food servers are powerful company assets.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Remember that your food serving team is your company’s most valuable asset.

Does your food serving team see through the eyes of your residents?

Does your food serving team see through the eyes of your residents?

mature woman soft smile

Is this a good time to look at your food service through the eyes of your customers as top-notch restaurateurs do?

Do you realize that your residents yearn for the same quality of food and service that their favorite restaurants gave them? Those are the restaurants, bistros, and trattorias they patronized before they made your community their home.

That kind of dining service is not out of reach. A food serving team that works together to improve the quality of mealtimes that residents look forward to every day.

An inspired chef can create interesting menus, bring in fresh foods, and design the kitchen to prepare food when ordered. The new way has overcome the old way of cooking early in the day and keeping it hot on steam tables until mealtime.

Still combining healthcare with hospitality, an inspired chef will use herbs and seasonings to replace the salt most seniors need to avoid. It will benefit their health while pleasing their palate.

Dining is their time to socialize, try new dishes with intoxicating flavors, and share stories with newly made or reacquainted long-time friends.

An inspired chef and food service team working together can create excitement at mealtimes and compliment the architecture and décor in your community that first attracted your residents to choose your home.

Your food serving team is a powerful tool for the company.  The dining room’s quality of food and service is their most valued asset. Meals that are talked about with warmth, delight, and satisfaction carry more assurance than advertisements. Word-of-mouth is a strong advantage.

Kind Dining♥ training modules are now available online.

Our curriculum is comprised of 9 training modules divided into 3 sections.

We will help refresh the work habits of your long-term food servers, educate your newly hired food servers, and show your part-time food servers how to be part of the team.

A well-trained team helps your community stand out from others by having employees who learn to be dedicated to their work.

Do your food servers encourage new residents?

Do your food servers encourage new residents?

 

Brown Label With English Text Welcome Home With Purple And White  Kind Dining Training Cindy Heilman

Many seniors will decide to leave their present home and make their new and final home in a senior or an assisted living community. This is a lifetime decision and not one that is made lightly. When keeping this in mind, your food servers have the power to reassure any hesitancy of these new residents. Incorporating kindness into their daily routine shows commitment to helping new residents settle in. It also improves their day. They display empathy by lending an ear and taking a few minutes to listen.

Older Adults making your community their home will welcome this kindness as they often left a home of 50 years. They leave behind a houseful of familiar antiques and treasures to move into a smaller place. Downsizing is rewarding in itself.  It can also be painful to leave those treasures collected over a lifetime.

Hospitality is encouragement when starting fresh. Hospitality is also a comfort and is healthful.

Food has always been a comfort and a major factor in the senior and assisted living community.

The food server is the carrier of that comfort. Your food serving team must add the skills of empathy and sincere listening to their list of practiced technical skills. Follow those skills up with practicing kindness to become a way of life. It eases a workday and improves the attitude of the giver and receiver. Now that dining rooms and restaurants in these communities have re-opened, mealtimes can return to their former social times. They become a focal point for renewing friendships and meeting new residents.

It is a time for excitement and fun. It is a time for enjoying the chef’s choices, the food servers’ comments, and the warmth of a table shared with others.

Our training modules at Kind Dining® are experiential.

We engage trainees by using action, reflection, application, and performance. Servers learn empathy with delicacy for seniors who left their family homes to become permanent residents in your community.

Your food serving team can connect with residents one-on-one to build good relationships. We teach that personal and professional skills, like hospitality and healthcare, go hand in hand. These skills improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Everyone benefits from thorough and refreshed training; the residents, their families, the entire food serving team, and the company.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Personal and professional skills go hand in hand, like hospitality and healthcare.

Do your employees listen when residents in the community share their stories?

Do your employees listen when residents in the community share their stories?

a Caregiver looking at ladies eating

Everyone has a story.

Ending an old year and beginning a new one brings out the stories that residents find satisfying to tell.

The savvy food server gives the best gift and builds a good relationship when he/she listens intently to what the resident wants to share.

Listening is a skill that can be learned and practiced. It not only gives great satisfaction to an older person but adds to the list of food-serving skills. It strengthens the bond created between the resident and the server. It increases the value of the employee and creates a sense of belonging and a feeling of accomplishment.

Listening is the highest form of hospitality. Hospitality holds hands with healthcare which helps elders through their life experiences. Sharing stories comforts the teller and the one receiving them by listening. The skill can be added to daily habits with little effort.

One of many things a food server learns by listening is that all older adults in their Senior Living Community are not the same.

To lump them all together because they share a certain age bracket would be a major error. An obvious result of that difference is their exposure to various ethnic and cultural foods in their dining experiences. The world has grown smaller and has introduced new food preparations and recipes to everyone interested.

Opting for the time of day when a person prefers to dine is varied. Some prefer early supper, and others prefer late evening dining.

Today’s well-rounded community offers to accommodate everyone in the community.

The answer to all residents choosing as individuals is to operate the dining room similarly to a restaurant. That is the way chefs face the challenges of culinary services.

Experienced chefs incorporate the assorted tastes of people in the community.  They execute the daily mealtimes, including special event meals and holiday buffets. Residents’ families are invited to share the meals Mom or Dad enjoys each day.

Kind Dining® training series has long recognized and taught the importance of listening, building friendships, treating residents as individuals with dignity, respect, and kindness, and seeing the difference in one from the other to all employees. 

Everyone on the entire food serving team, including the preparers in the kitchen and each one who comes from other departments to serve food or beverages, benefits from our Kind Dining® curriculum training series.

Hospitality and healthcare work together as the food-serving team does. Kind Dining encourages any company that wants to thrive and evolve, to invest in its employees by continuing education and creating a community of belonging to retain valued employees.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Does your food serving team know older adults are not the same?

Do you have any residents in your community that are lonely?

Do you have any residents in your community that are lonely?

senior man sitting alone and feeling lonely

Imagine sitting in your room in a senior retirement living community.

You have survived the loneliness of isolation from the Covid-19 pandemic, but now it is over. Yet you are still lonely because you moved into this caring community just before the pandemic started, and you never had a chance to make friends.

Loneliness feeds on your immunity.

You only saw your food servers. How would you feel?

You’ve been relying on the kindness of your food serving team for conversation, and now you still depend on a kind word that will encourage you to sit at a stranger’s table in the dining room.

It isn’t easy if a person is naturally shy or doesn’t hear well and hesitates to ask a stranger if they may join them. Intentional kindness from a food server to make that approach easier by introducing a resident to a table is a small effort for the server, a major appreciation from the resident.

Social interaction is a defense against loneliness. It helps in your residents’ health. An assisted living community’s food serving team has the power to help your residents feel that they are welcome and are a part of your community instead of feeling abandoned.

Not everyone thinks to react to a situation with kindness. It isn’t that they are rude, just that they didn’t think of it.

When intentional kindness is added to the list of skills to learn and practice in training sessions, it will become the most natural thing to do in any needed situation. When kindness enters your psyche, it becomes a way of life that brings joy to the giver as much as to the receiver. Remember how you felt after you extended kindness to someone in the past and the delightful expression on their face afterward. Didn’t it fill you with pleasure? 

 Kind Dining♥ coaching and training curriculum has long impressed companies on the value of educated, multi-skilled, including intentional kindness and food serving teams.  It is commonly understood that skilled staff remain with their company much longer than those without proper training.

Our training series is for your food serving team, both full and part-time, direct care workers, managers, and those you pull from other departments when you have insufficient food servers, as is happening now due to the pandemic. 

Our training sessions are experiential.

We engage trainees by using action, reflection, application, and performance. Servers build empathy to respect the aging process by using kindness to connect with residents one-on-one.

We teach personal and professional skills that improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them.

Be♥ Kind: Learning kindness as a skill becomes as natural as the sun rising in the morning.

Do your employees practice kindness as a way of life?

Do your employees practice kindness as a way of life?

Do all things with kindness quote

“Well, now that you have been on the job, let’s see…6 months, what do you think?” Laura asked Susan, the newcomer to the senior living community food service team.

“Do you have an hour? I have lots to say for an answer.” Susan replied in a joking manner.

“I’m listening and curious.” Laura knew Susan came to the community soon after she graduated high school and had never been in the workforce.

“First of all, I thought having a job was all about getting a paycheck and how I could spend it. Wow! That is way down the list below of the things I didn’t know.

Our training sessions taught me important everyday ways of work that I never learned in my business course in school. The first up is working smarter with intention using the new skills I’m learning. I had no idea how much there was to serve a meal. It is so much more than I expected. I practice each new skill as shown to me so it will come naturally in time. Wow. Who knew?”

Laura grinned, encouraging her. “I still learn from our training meetings. It keeps my skills fresh, so I’m happy you appreciate them.”

“Oh, I do! My first day on the job serving meals made me aware of the difference between the older generation and the physical issues they have to contend with. At the same, I noted incidents I faced in high school, like bullying. Some elders are darlings that I loved immediately. I practice being extra kind, knowing they may struggle with something I don’t yet understand. But I’m committed and determined to help overcome loneliness and the complications of aging. I’m learning. It doesn’t always come naturally. My coworkers help and are kind to me too. They advise me when they notice I need it and include me so I feel like I belong even though I am the youngest and the new kid on the block.

“COVID hit my high school friends hard, though we are all technologically savvy,” Susan continued. “Knowing about isolation and knowing it is much harder for seniors is constantly on my mind when serving. I chat and ask questions to build a connection, as was taught in the training curriculum. I rely on that curriculum. It reminds me why I want kindness to be a way of life for me. Already, kindness comes naturally.”

Kind Dining ® curriculum is for all employees, not only the newly hired. Kindness is core to their training of skills necessary to be a community seniors choose as their home. It is a new way of life and a challenge for them, leaving behind a home that was familiar and dear to them.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Kindness is core to learning basic skills.