One of the simplest ways to improve overall health and wellness is already part of our everyday lives: Food.
Whether hosting a chili cookoff or a cheesecake decorating contest, you’re bringing together residents who need socialization as a vital part of their overall wellness. Healthy food fuels their physical wellness, and gathering with others feeds their social well-being.
The push for wellness in senior living centers has been significant in recent years, and for good reason. Shifting from a more traditional senior-living model to a more holistic approach by focusing on residents’ physical, mental and emotional well-being is one of the most essential value-adds senior dining can offer.
According to a survey conducted by the International Council on Active Aging, 67 % of respondents said by 2025, their senior living community will be based on a wellness lifestyle.
To prioritize wellness, it all starts with food, and incorporating food-related activities to spur socialization for seniors is crucial. Food is the cornerstone of wellness, and coupled with good nutrition, it forms the bedrock of physical health.
Looking for inspiration? Consider these ideas:
- Mobile Food Cart: Create pop-up food stations with a mobile cart to entice residents to gather, snack on a treat and socialize.
- Teaching Kitchens: A hands-on learning laboratory designed to teach residents to prepare a particular recipe, often with a healthy-eating message included.
- Local Harvest: Invite residents to taste fresh, local foods. Be sure to include the origin of the food.
- Food Sampling: Host a food sampling event to help identify new recipes the residents want to see featured on the regular menu.
- Chef Competition: Allow your culinary team to compete and have the residents vote on the recipe they like the most.
- Theme Meal: Host a themed meal to encourage residents to come out and try new foods tied to your theme of choice.
Regardless of which activities you choose to implement in your community, your residents will welcome them. Food truly is at the root of wellness, and taking steps to make that part of your residents’ daily lives will benefit them and their families.