Considering that most of us eat three meals a day and have a few snacks in between those meals, it goes without saying that the food is an incredibly important aspect to consider when checking out assisted living.
It’s more than just what is served: the entire dining experience in assisted living can be a great indicator of the community’s commitment to quality care, and a testament to how well the community is managed.
Excellent service in the dining room is comprised of the variety of options on the menu, the tastiness and freshness of the food, the warmth, courtesy and competence of the staff, the cleanliness of the dining area and food preparation/storage spaces, and the social atmosphere among residents.
When touring assisted living, ask the following questions about the dining department — better yet, find out if you can have a meal in the dining room too (many communities allow this):
- Ask when meals are served and if there is any flexibility regarding meal times.
- Find out how many options are available at each meal.
- Ask if snacks or supplemental meals can be stored in the resident’s room/apartment or in a shared kitchen space.
- Find out how the community will accommodate those with special dietary needs.