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Innovative Dining Program Brings Dignity Back to Mealtime

ATLANTA, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Favorite foods that once were forbidden are now back on the menu for residents in The Arbor Company Engaged Living memory care program who cannot easily manage utensils or swallow solid foods.

The innovative Dining with Dignity program became the newest winner of the coveted Best of the Best Awards at the Assisted Living Federation of America conference yesterday in Phoenix.

After months of collaboration with two chefs in a test kitchen, Arbor communities now use a culinary technique that involves grinding cooked food and presenting it in a way that retains the full taste as well as the texture, consistency and "five star" attractiveness. The converted dish is finger-ready, easy to swallow and as nutritionally complete as the original. Now all residents—even those who typically would require a caregiver's assistance or prepackaged processed foods—can order from the same menu.

"While traditionally prepared foods that are served to residents with swallowing or motor issues are safe and nutritionally sound, the food may not taste good or is not easily manipulated and we find that our residents do not enjoy the dining experience and eat less," says Deborah Osterhaudt, vice president of sales and marketing. "Foods that stimulate the senses with the same tastes and textures allow our residents to once again enjoy a delicious meal in a way that was thought to be long forgotten."

So far, 30 percent of memory care residents participating in Dining with Dignity have shown improved intake, and 90 percent of respondents to a resident and family survey approve of the menu choices. After their successful collaboration with Arbor Company, chefs Sarah Gorham and Stone Morris cofounded Grind Dining™, a consultancy that trains chefs in the innovative preparation technique.

About The Arbor Company: The Arbor Company is an Atlanta-based operator of more than 20 independent living, assisted living and memory care communities, serving seniors in nine states. With nearly 30 years of dedication and experience, The Arbor Company strives to deliver the highest quality care and service to residents and their families. The company's innovative Engaged Living program creates meaningful moments through structured activity programs and spontaneous interactions, filling each day with the right balance of purpose and fun. More information about The Arbor Company is available at

About the Assisted Living Federation of America and Best of the Best Award: Program submissions for the Best of the Best Award were judged for their uniqueness in the industry, innovative use of ideas, impact on residents and families and embrace of industry core principles. The Assisted Living Federation of America is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.

The Arbor Company Media Contact: Chris Harper 3715 Northside Parkway, Atlanta, Ga. 30327 Office: (678) 539-8966 Cell: (678) 725-1955

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