By Cassandra Dowell
As memory care providers compete to meet the needs of a growing segment of Americans with dementia, many are turning to innovative solutions that revolve around engaging the senses.
By 2050 the number of those 65 and older in the United States is expected to almost double, and those 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of dementia, may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
A new approach to dining in memory care is doing away with the days of applesauce and fish sticks to give residents a contemporary dining experience: Grind Dining
See original article published by Senior Housing News at http://seniorhousingnews.com/innovation/4-techniques-on-memory-cares-cutting-edge/
A new approach to dining in memory care is doing away with the days of applesauce and fish sticks to give residents a contemporary dining experience: Grind Dining.
Nearly two years ago The Arbor Company decided its memory care residents, served at 18 of the company’s 21 communities, should experience the same quality food as everybody else — but they weren’t sure how to make that vision a reality.
After The Arbor Company reached out to foodservice professionals Sarah Gorham and Stone Morris in 2013 to develop a menu specialized for those with cognitive impairments, a new menu was formed — and the culinary duo soon formed Grind Dining. Grind Dining specializes in recipes for those with a cognitive, neuromuscular or chewing disorder.
Unlike other alternatives to memory care dining, which might include strapping a utensil to a resident’s wrist, spoon feeding or pureeing food, this program consists of grinding the proteins and carbohydrates to make eating possible without utensils.
This process allows the ingredients to retain their natural texture and flavor, thus presenting meals many residents are familiar with from a taste and smell perspective, just in a new form.
The equipment, which usually requires little more than a food grinder, is usually already on site with the food costs built in. Instead of purchasing a separate set of ingredients for memory care patients, such as fish sticks and apple sauce, operators use the same ingredients as those served to other residents through implementing the Grind technique.
“We see the desires and appetites of those in memory care the same as our other residents [in assisted living, or independent living],” Mary Campbell Jenkins, executive vice president with The Arbor Company, says. “What gets in the way is the cognitive and physical changes. We needed to find a way to deliver the same quality food for the resident who needed it in a different format.”