Food at Senior Community

by Tom
(Portland,Tx . USA)

Would like to know how to word questions about food likes and dislikes and elderly nutrition.


We live in a senior community and residents are always complaining about the food.

We are starting a committee to discuss the problem, but we need help to word questions to ask.

Would appreciate your response.

Sincerely

Tom

Answer
The food is the most common complaint I hear regarding senior communities. I would think the best way to approach this is to encourage the residents to be part of the solution, rather than simply opening the committee up to complaints.

You could start with consulting the cooking staff or management regarding the types of food choices that might be available or could be feasible; particularly food items that aren't on the current menu. Also consider Elderly Nutrition when making food choices.

At the same time, ask if it is feasible for them to change it up in some way, ie. offer choices between two meals, choices between courses, or have the residents do a home cooking evening once a month.

I would then make a list of the foods and ask residents to circle whether they like or dislike foods.

Ask them to list 5 foods or menu items that are not currently on the menu that they might like to see. And 5 foods that are on the menu they'd like to eliminate.

This will give you an idea if some foods are more popular than others - which might be best to keep - and which might be okay to be eliminated altogether.

Most importantly, I would suggest you frame your question in ways that the residents in the community feel that they might contribute to making the meals more agreeable and enjoyable to everyone.

You could ask a question such as:
"What are three ways you can suggest that might make meals more delicious/ enjoyable/ acceptable to the whole senior community here?"
"What active involvement can you have that might help us make changes to the food selection and service here so all the residents are happier?"

For instance, there might be financial restraints that mean the food doesn't get out to residents fast enough so it is still warm. Maybe the residents can sign up to help with the service once a month.

Or perhaps you can have several volunteers who might meet with the food service once a month to help with monthly meal planning so there is input from the residents.

Good luck and hope this helps. If you end up coming up with some great solutions, please send them in so we can add them on here!

Thank you,
Tennille

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