Meals and Convivium
Convivium is served at every meal
All meals are cooked in the kitchen of each cottage. There is no set time for breakfast. Instead, breakfasts are made individually as elders wake up. Lunch and dinner are communal meals served fresh from the kitchen, family style, at the dining room table.
Meal times are seen as a time of gathering and sharing. All elders eat together at one large dining room table with staff members. Guests are always welcome. The large table helps to promote a sense of community and conversation among the elders. By participating in the meal, the staff get to know the elders more fully and are able to monitor the elders’ well-being . The staff facilitate and model the convivium of a shared meal.
Resident appetites are stimulated by the sounds, smells and sights of food being cooked
People with memory loss can lose interest in food. Those with dementia may be confused by food that “appears” from a remote central kitchen without the sight, smells and sounds of food being cooked. Being around food as it is being cooked reminds elders of the upcoming meal and stimulates their appetites. The use of brightly colored china allows elders to see the food on their plates and promotes better eating.
Do you have a favorite family recipe?
One of the benefits of a small on site kitchen is that the staff is free to try out favorite recipes of the elders. Birthdays, holidays, and seasonal events are all reasons for special meals and celebrations. A dietician reviews the meal plans every six months to make sure that nutritional standards are met. In the event that an elder does not care for a meal offering, an alternate meal choice is always available.