Dining Services in Memory Care
Food and drinks are an important part of our lives, and we recognize that this continues in a setting like ours. Here is a brief description of how our dining program works in Encore, The Birches' specialized Memory Care Program.
We prepare our menu items in our main kitchen and transport them to the service kitchen in Encore. With dementia, sometimes words do not have meaning, so rather than use printed menus, we make up sample plates and show them to each resident. With this visual presentation, people can more easily choose what they'd like to eat. Our associates then prepare individualized plates, based on resident requests and preferences, and serve restaurant-style with homemade soup first, salad, entree of choice, followed by dessert.
On the Encore kitchen bulletin board, each resident has a preference card, with their photo. Families help the director make these cards by explaining likes, dislikes, special needs, allergies, etc. of 'their' person. These cards are helpful to our associates in serving meals.
Although we have scheduled meal times (8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.), we have a person-centered approach to our care, so a resident can eat at the times they prefer. Snacks are available around the clock.
For our residents who have difficulty chewing or swallowing, we can carry out doctors' orders for various consistency modifications – from simply cutting up meat to chopped food and pureed.
We understand that most residents with dementia need consistent reminders to get enough fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration, so we encourage fluid intake frequently throughout our Encore Structured Day. Water, juices, decaf coffee, soda, or other special preferences are all welcomed and available.