QUALITY DINING - NURSING VS DIETARY

  1. Help - we are once again looking at our dining system. We are a 192 bed skilled nursing facility. Our dietary department also provides 170 meals for the assisted living center attached to our building. We are have main floor dining rooms with the majority of residents living on the 2nd or 3rd floor. So we spend a lot of time/effort transporting residents to/from meal in elevators that can handle 4 w/c at the most.

    Currrently, each resident's meal is dished in the main kitchen, put on a tray and then transported to each dining area. The hot foods become cold and the cold foods (ice cream, etc.) become warm.

    Our dining area feels very institutional - tables of residents in w/cs with trays. The trays contain 2 - 3 small disposable plastic glasses of fluids, the meal is served on a china plate, soup/cereal and coffee come in non-microwavable plastic containers. So if the coffee/soup/cereal is cold when it arrives - you can not readily microwave it. We have large plastic barrells for cover-ups (aka cloth bibs); almost every resident wears a cover-up. The purreed food is blobs of brown, green and tannish mush.

    PLEASE SHARE WITH ME WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO IMPROVE THE DINING ROOM AND EATING EXPERIENCE OF YOUR RESIDENTS.

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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   freddie
    It sounds like your method of transporting the food needs refurbished. At my 121-bed facility (plus 24 assisted living) we use hot plates under the china plates of hot food, and they are pretty effective. Our facility is all on one floor, though. We also use the cloth bibs, and our pureed food also looks as you described it. There is not much you can do to make it look any better, and it is quite necessary for some of our residents to have a pureed diet. Our Activities dept. has put centerpieces on the tables to help boost the "dining experience". Some of the higher functioning residents are grouped together at a "socialization table" per Restorative, this is an intervention I can use when writing care plans.
    It sounds like your facility will need to purchase some hot plates or some other method of delivering the food. At another facility I worked at the trays were delivered in a completely enclosed cart, with one side refrigerated and the other side kept hot w/ steam. It worked out really well as long as dietary loaded the trays w/ the hot food on the hot side & cold food on the cold side. I hope this gave you some ideas.

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