Your senior years are your chance to settle back and enjoy the finer things in life, including no longer having to worry about grocery shopping and cooking. This is one of the many benefits that residents enjoy at our communities, says Jayne Sallerson, Chief Operating Officer of Charter Senior Living.
“At Charter Senior Living, we create meals and dishes that will delight your palate,” she says. “Our goal is to create exceptional dining experiences that also meet the unique dietary needs and preferences of our residents. No matter whether you have specific tastes, dietary restrictions or allergies, our culinary staff can accommodate you.”
Jayne says that it’s long been known that eating nutritious, fresh and delicious foods has tremendous health benefits. “Good nutrition is essential in order to maintain optimal health,” she says. “This includes following a diet that maximizes nutrients without adding on empty calories.”
Nutrition is not the only benefit of mealtime. In fact, studies have shown that seniors who eat meals together as an event are more fulfilled, happier and have a higher quality of life than their non-social-eating counterparts.
“A good meal isn’t something you just eat – it’s something you experience,” says Jayne. “Enjoying a meal with people we care about helps us make better food choices, builds and strengthens relationships, improves our mental health and provides a source of entertainment. That’s why we’ve created an exceptional experience at Charter Senior Living. Our culinary teams deliver exceptional service along with an ever-changing menu filled with locally sourced ingredients, nutritious and delicious choices and a social atmosphere.”
In honor of National Nutrition Month, we wanted to highlight some of the benefits that good dining has for older adults, as well as some of the top trends in senior living dining today.
The Benefits of Dining Well for Seniors
Better nutrition. As we get older, our food needs shift. Since metabolisms and activity levels drop, seniors require fewer calories than younger people. Depending on your individual health needs, this may mean a specialized diet or simply eating less. Ironically, while seniors should eat less than they did in their youth, they also need more nutrients than younger counterparts. This is why so many seniors who eat alone end up suffering from malnutrition and other health issues. At Charter Senior Living, residents receive the most optimal nutrition in the most delicious way, with specially tailored menus to help them get all the nutrients they need to live healthy lives.
Socialization opportunities. Sharing a meal together has long been a symbol of community. But when you’re living on your own, you can end up skipping meals or picking fast, processed options because creating a nutritious meal for one is just a huge hassle. Studies have shown that, when we eat a meal with others, we make better food choices, which can lead to a healthier lifestyle overall. Engaging in conversation while eating can also help seniors pace their eating, which can result in feeling satiated without over- or undereating. Finally, eating together and spending time with friends and family increases happiness, reduces depression and is overall more satisfying.
Dining at Charter Senior Living communities is always an opportunity to socialize. Our dining rooms are set up restaurant-style and serve three home-cooked meals a day, making it easy to dine with and meet friends at every meal.
Less work for you. Besides the health and friendship benefits, dining in senior living has another huge benefit: it takes a lot of work and hassle off your plate. At Charter Senior Living, everything is handled for you. You don’t have to make grocery lists, go shopping, prep meals or clean up. Instead, it’s restaurant-quality service each and every day. This frees up our residents’ time so they can focus more on the things they want to do. So whether you’re ready to head out on a new adventure, learn a new hobby or simply relax and enjoy the day, you’ll be able to do it without ever having to wash a dish again.
How Senior Dining Is Being Reinvented by Charter Senior Living
Senior dining, just like dining in regular society, is subject to trends and transformations. Here are some of the most recent trends that have been reinventing the dining experience for seniors.
A focus on experience. Seniors today don’t just want a meal, as we mentioned previously. Instead, they want dining to be an experience to look forward to. They also want the personal touch that comes from attentive servers, a thoughtfully appointed dining room and opportunities to socialize with friends. At Charter Senior Living communities, we offer a variety of experiences, from upscale dining rooms to more casual, bistro-like settings.
A highly trained staff. Besides wanting exceptional service and attention, seniors today also want a culinary staff that understands a wide variety of different flavors and cuisines. Today’s food landscape is more diverse than ever, with preparation styles, meals and ingredients available from across the globe. At Charter Senior Living communities, our chefs and staff have extensive resumes that extend beyond working at senior living communities. They’re also hired for their innovative thinking and practices that transform meals into exceptional experiences.
Healthy and delicious foods. Finally, Charter Senior Living communities focus on providing whole, unprocessed, homemade and locally sourced meals using fresh ingredients. Because we are focused on the health and wellness of our residents and want to do everything we can to help them age well, we ensure that everything we serve at our communities is of the highest quality – and the highest levels of deliciousness.
“You can really taste the difference in the dining experience at Charter Senior Living communities,” says Jayne. “It’s all part of our Personal Touch philosophy of care. Our core values are all about serving – with heart, with purpose, with courage and having fun while doing so. And there’s nothing we love more to do than serving our residents delicious, nutritious and satisfying meals at our amazing communities.”
Your Journey. Your Way.
Charter Senior Living is a caring and compassionate leader within the senior living industry. Charter manages 22 senior living communities throughout the U.S., offering Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services. A family-owned business with an executive team with more than 100 combined years in the senior housing industry, Charter Senior Living’s mission is to enhance the human spirit of our residents, families and employees while serving with heart, purpose and courage – and to have fun while serving.