One of life’s joys is good food. Most people LOVE to eat! Breaking bread is also profoundly social. Families and neighbors gather for conversation at the table, and food is an occasion for sharing celebrations and making connections.
In addition to opportunities for companionship and celebration, food is life-sustaining, and senior living dining teams work hard to lead and provide healthy, delicious meals, snacks and treats. At Country Meadows, our goal is to make mealtime not just a healthy experience, but a pleasurable one as well for all our residents.
Changes made to our senior living dining services
When COVID cases were at their peak in 2020, retirement living residents ate meals in individual apartments. Senior living dining programs quickly changed up meal offerings to protect residents and co-workers, providing in-apartment meal delivery to eliminate congregating in groups. And we missed each other.
As we slowly return to normal post-COVID, retirement living residents are once again enjoying a return to the dining room. Many senior living dining providers offer multiple meal seating times for residents to gather together.
There are changes. Most senior living dining rooms no longer offer salad bars and other buffet-type offerings. However, for many senior living dining teams, including those at Country Meadows, this has presented an opportunity, not a problem. “We have become more creative with savory salad offerings such as cranberry/walnut arugula and goat cheese, field greens with fresh feta and walnut and kale salads,” says Kathy Thomas, Vice President of dining and culinary services here at Country Meadows.
What residents can expect from our senior living dining program
As spring and summer produce becomes available, senior living dining chefs incorporate mostly fresh ingredients in menus. Thomas says Country Meadows creates flavorful menus that are delicious while providing health benefits. “The menu is built around the MIND diet, which combines portions of the DASH and Mediterranean diets. Both diets have been shown to improve cognition, lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease, especially in older adults.”
Senior living dining staff assist residents with individual dietary requirements and preferences. Country Meadows accommodates many special diets including pureed food, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other needs as requested.
Additionally, Country Meadows’ senior living dining team welcomes resident input and includes regional favorites in the senior living dining program. Being a family-owned and family-focused organization, Country Meadows invite residents and families to share favorite recipes to be considered as upcoming menu features.
If a resident is craving a special item for dinner, the senior living dining team at Country Meadows offers “Elegant Entrees” which enable residents to receive a premium dinner item such as prime rib, filet mignon, crab or even lobster.
Celebrating special occasions with our senior living dining options
In addition to enjoying delicious, restaurant-style meal services provided in beautiful spaces, our senior living dining programs frequently offer special food-based events such as outdoor picnics and cookouts, chef-lead cooking presentations and classes, daily happy hours and fun snacks and treats.
If a resident wishes to mark a special event with family and friends, many of our senior living dining programs offer private dining rooms for groups to gather and celebrate. Residents work directly with culinary teams to plan a special menu to make get-togethers even more memorable.
The perks of senior living dining at Country Meadows
Many independent living communities operate onsite bistros which serve soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, grilled specialties, sides and day-long breakfast entrees. Bistros are a popular choice for inviting family for lunch or sitting with friends to talk over a delicious meal.
Finally, one of the most popular senior living dining perks offered at Country Meadows is a steady supply of Hershey’s ice cream and homemade cookies both available 24/7. All we can say is, “Yum!”
Country Meadows adds new meal selections to the menu with a focus on healthy cuisine. Thomas says, “Our seniors are at widely different levels in knowing how to eat for good health. So, we have developed a menu of healthy food choices to help them maintain a desirable weight, stay energized and get nutrients to lower their risk of chronic health conditions.”
Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best independent living communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs. The services within our senior living communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living services. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our campuses and answer any other questions you might have.