This holiday season, many adult children will be spending time with an aging parent or loved one they haven’t seen in awhile. This may be the only time of the year they can physically check in on their older loved ones. While home for the holidays, be sure to look for signs that additional help or attention may be needed – especially if you’re loved one is living alone
1. Changes in physical appearance – be on the lookout for obvious weight loss or weight gain, loss of mobility and increased frailty.
2. Decline in personal hygiene – does your loved one shower or bath regularly, are their clothes clean?
3. Changes in mood or behavior – is your loved one constantly repeating things, do they seem confused or irritable? How are their sleeping habits?
4. Decline in home cleanliness and repair – does their home look and smell clean? Is it in need of cleaning and / or repairs?
5. Take a close look at the kitchen – are the appliances clean and in good-working order? What about the refrigerator – is it clean, are items fresh or have many of them expired? Is there ample food in the pantry or are there multiples of the same items?
6. Take a drive with your loved one behind the wheel – inspect the car for new nicks or dents and check the dashboard warning lights to ensure there is sufficient oil, antifreeze and windshield-wiper fluid. Look for signs of impaired driving. Are they using their seat belts?
7. Notice how other living things are doing – are living plants in good shape or are they dying or already dead? If your loved one has a pet, be sure to check that they are being taken care of – is the cat’s litter box clean, does the dog need grooming?
8. Browse through the mail – are their unopened bills or personal mail? Also be sure to look for thank-you notes from charities. Older adults can be vulnerable to scammers or if they’re having trouble with thinking skills, they may give multiple times to the same charity.
9. Look for changes in routine – Are prescriptions being filled and medication taken? Are there plans listed on the calendar or have they cut back on activities and interests?
10. Talk to neighbors and friends – be aware of comments such as “we haven’t seen her much lately” or “she doesn’t call anymore”.
Noticeable changes in one or more of these areas could mean that your loved one needs medical attention, in-home assistance or assisted living care.
Eating healthy is important at any age but it becomes even more so for seniors as nutritional needs change as people age. However, in many senior communities, meal time involves more than sitting down to eat a healthy meal – it can be a social highlight for many residents – a time of fellowship, special occasions and, of course, nutrition.
Angie Smith, Director of Dietary Services at The Meadows, and her team know the importance of balancing good nutrition, which is essential for seniors, with making the food taste great and the dining experience pleasant. When planning meals for the residents, factors such as decreased ability to taste, medication side effects and changing appetites have to be considered. Angie works hand-in-hand with Cathy Corder, The Meadows Dietician, to plan meals that meet all of these needs.
We recently sat down with Angie to learn more about food service and the dining experience at The Meadows as well as the new seasonal menu program that was recently implemented.
How would you describe food service at The Meadows?
Many people would probably consider our menu to be similar to a Meat and Three restaurant. I believe that food can be a source of comfort for many people – something that can trigger positive emotions – so I consider our food to be comfort food or more similar to home cooking.
What types of diets are served at The Meadows?
A large majority of the food we serve is considered to be a regular or no-added salt diet. Because taste buds wane as we age, many people turn to salt for additional flavor; however, we use herbs and spices to maintain and enhance flavor. In addition, we also accommodate physician ordered, mechanically altered diets: Textural diets, which benefit those who experience decreased muscle ability when swallowing. All mechanical soft and pureed diets are modified from the same foods prepared for those with regular and other non-mechanically altered diets, in order to provide those residents with the same flavor profiles we all enjoy in our everyday meals.
What are your vision and goals for the dining program?
A lot of care and thought goes into the preparation of the food and I want our residents and their families to know that. The dietary staff members they see daily in the dining room are the same staff members that cook their food each meal. Each team member takes great pride in their responsibilities. Each time a meal is prepared, each individual resident’s preferences are considered and evaluated to decide what items would best suit their palette. In keeping with this idea, when I first arrived, I started a recipe of the month contest where residents could submit recipes out of magazines that they would like to see or try out. At the end of the month, a winner was chosen and their submitted recipe was featured during our dining room lunch service. While the program has been put on hold in recent months, I look forward to beginning again at the first of the year. In addition, to that program, we have started our Fall & Winter Menu, which features new seasonal selections. In conjunction with the seasonal change, we have modified our daily soup and ice cream dining room service; now, we offer one Soup of the Day selection. Historically, during the fall and winter months, we have discontinue our Monday, Wednesday, Friday offering of soft serve ice cream, but, due to popular demand, we have introduced a Friday ice cream option. We will soon begin our holiday pie orders, so look for the order forms coming in the coming weeks. Pie selection will include: Pumpkin and sweet potato with a few new additions to the customary selection.
Tell us about the new seasonal menu.
We recently implemented our new Fall and Winter menu featuring seasonally inspired items. This menu was really a team effort. Being new to the facility, I wanted to ensure that the items selected reflected the tastes of the residents. As such, Trish Gammel and I, in conjunction with our Dietician, Cathy Corder, enlisted the help of a long-term Meadows staff member as well as, a resident family member. Our combined “SUPER FOOD GROUP” came together and created a menu that I am very excited about. We have introduced new items such as: Braised short ribs, cordon bleu, and a good ole’ favorite, chicken and dumplings. Our daily soup selections have expanded as well. We have added new soups including: Roasted tomato and bell pepper bisque, Greek lemon chicken, and a new favorite, Italian wedding soup. Overall, the menu has been well received, but certainly we have experienced a few misses. Anytime we see an item is not preferred by a large group, immediately I evaluate the product, method of preparation, and any other factors that would affect the menu item. Based on those factors, we assess whether the item should be revised or simply replaced. We will soon begin working on our Spring and Summer menu to be rolled out Spring of 2015.
What have you learned about the popularity of menu items here at The Meadows?
In the past, we offered soft serve ice cream everyday in the summer and then soup two days a week in the winter. This fall we removed the ice cream so we could provide a soup of the day selection each day. We had such an overwhelming response to keep the ice cream that now, in addition to our soup of the day, we will also offer soft serve ice cream every Friday during in the winter months. Residents can still expect to always have their Fried Fish Fridays and green beans on the menu virtually everyday. And of course, it wouldn’t be Sunday without our famous Fried Chicken at lunch!
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Most importantly, I want people to know that I love my job and that our team is committed to providing and doing “whatever it takes” to make our residents happy and healthy and their meal times an enjoyable and anticipated daily event.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Halloween is barely over and we’ve already moved onto Christmas – Black Friday commercials are all over the television, our favorite coffee is being served up in red & green cups and Christmas items and decorations adorn the isles of our every store we enter.
Before you start the countdown to Christmas, remember that Thanksgiving comes first. Thanksgiving is a day for family, traditions and for giving thanks for all the blessings we have been given and all of the things for which we are grateful.
This year before writing your Christmas wish list, why not focus on giving thanks by doing a few of the following:
1. Serve others – provide a service to a neighbor by doing a chore or running an errand. Volunteer at a local non-profit.
2. Express gratitude and use it as springboard to help others – if you say you’re thankful for good food, figure out a way to share a meal with someone less fortunate. If your grandchild says they are thankful for a toy, have them pull together some unused toys and donate them to a shelter.
3. Celebrate with others – the holidays are a time for family and togetherness. If you know someone who will be alone for the holidays, make them feel loved by inviting them to your family’s holiday dinner.
4. Feed others on your pocket change – save all of your change during the month and donate it to a family in need.
5. Make a Blessing Basket – place a basket with a pencil and some paper in an easy-to-reach location. Encourage family members to write down ways God has blessed them. Read them together and give God thanks each day during the month or sometime on Thanksgiving Day.
Most importantly, say grace before your Thanksgiving meal. Give thanks for the food, the fellowship of the company around the table, and the presence of Spirit among you.
Honoring Veterans of Lakeshore Senior Communities
Lakeshore Senior Communities are honored to have many military Veterans as residents of our independent and nursing facilities. Although space in the newsletter does not permit us to expound on their stellar accomplishments, we thank them for their outstanding contributions to our country and are proud to have this distinguished group among our Lakeshore Family.
Join us at Heartland or The Meadows as we honor our Lakeshore Veterans!
Veterans Day Luncheon – November 11 at 12:00
Veterans Day Patriotic Memorial Celebration – November 11 at 2:30
Join us as we host the AARP Smart Driver™ Course on Tuesday, December 16 at The Meadows.
During this driver safety course you’ll learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. You’ll learn how you can manage and accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time.
AARP membership is not required to take the course and there are no tests to pass.
Order Your Holiday Pie!
The culinary team at The Meadows is taking orders for holiday pies. These delicious homemade pies are perfect for your family gatherings, holiday parties or as a tasty gift for a special friend.
Enjoy seasonal favorites including Pumpkin and Sweet Potato!
Call today to pre-order your holiday pie (615) 646-4466
Save the Date for Our Christmas Celebrations
Heartland Resident Christmas Dinner – Tuesday, December 16
Heartland Resident Christmas Party – Monday, December 22
The Meadows Christmas Dinner – Monday, December 8
Harpeth Meadows Christmas Dinner – Tuesday, December 9