Senior Assisted Living caregivers know how challenging and frustrating meal service can be for memory care residents. Many of these residents have difficulty in eating, chewing, and using utensils. For those residents who must use their fingers to eat and are on "finger food" diets, my observations have been that often time they get meals that are limited in variety and nutritional value, such as fried chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A meal not much different you would serve your 3 year old son or daughter.
Worse yet, the memory care residents who are not eating will be put on a puree diet because they are not able to chew, swallow, or use utensils. Many of these residents must be spoon fed purees, similar to feeding a baby. It is a difficult dining experience for the resident, caregivers, and family members to watch and the resident looses all sense of independence and dignity.
Grind Dining has changed this sad type of dining experience for memory care residents. We have developed a creative and innovative solution for "finger foods." Grind Dining uses the process of grinding the cooked foods on that day's menu in a way that retains the texture, taste, and nutritional value of the meal that is easily accessible. More importantly, Grind Dining creates a sense of inclusion for mentally and physically challenged residents, as well as the families who come to visit them, by allowing these important residents to enjoy the same delicious foods as the rest of the community.
Grind Dining can also be an alternative bridge for some residents on pureed diets since the food is easy to chew, swallow, and may be eaten with fingers.
We would like to hear from you and get your feedback. What are you serving your memory care residents or patients on a "finger food" diet? Do these residents enjoy these meals? Are family members happy with the foods being served to their loved ones? Are you satisfied with the meal service provided to these residents with unique and complex dining needs?
Don't be shy - we would love to hear from you!