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Residents Always Have a Say In Our Culinary Menu

Mary Ferguson

Mary Ferguson

Mary is the Director of Sales & Community Relations at Birches Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. With more than two decades of senior care experience. Mary was instrumental in starting the Dementia Friendly of Westmont.

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We empower our residents to provide feedback on the meals we serve.

If residents don’t like their food options, then we want to know about it so we can change the menu. 

Similarly, if residents love a certain meal and want to see it on the menu more often, we make that happen. It doesn’t matter whether it’s grilled salmon or fried bologna sandwiches—if our residents tell us they want the option more often, we take that to heart. 

View our Spring and Summer Culinary Favorites

We’re so committed to listening to our residents’ feedback that we created a special committee. Our Dining Services Director meets with this committee of residents to customize the monthly menu options each month. It’s another way we put our residents first at The Birches.

Eating is a necessary part of life, yet it can also enhance a person’s overall enjoyment of life. Food is not just fuel—it can and should be a pleasurable experience. Beyond nourishing the body, food forges new relationships and strengthens existing ones. Food brings people together, which is why we emphasize creating a wonderful culinary experience for our residents. 

Food as Empowerment

Our goal is to ensure each resident is as independent as possible, including allowing them to choose what they’d like to eat. 

We also know our residents living with dementia aren’t always able to comprehend printed menus. Because it’s important for residents to understand their menu choices to receive the proper nutrition, we take a different approach. Instead of printing menus, we make up sample dishes for our residents. They can see what foods they might like and order from the sample dishes, making the dining experience easier and stress-free for them.

Socializing Over a Meal

Assisted Living and Memory Care residents dine together here, allowing all residents to get to know one another. Meals are served restaurant-style, which further enhances the entire dining experience for each resident. 

Residents are free to order a glass of wine or a beer if they choose. We strive to make the culinary experience more like home, and that might include a cocktail for some of our residents. Some genuinely enjoy lingering over their meal with a glass of wine, simply chatting with new neighbors and old friends. 

Dietary Limitations That Aren’t Limiting

Our culinary team takes special care to make the dining experience pleasant for every resident, regardless of dietary limitations. Our team works with any limitations or doctor’s orders calling for special food preparations. That way, every resident can partake in the dining experience while receiving the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy. 

Fresh Ingredients and Customized Menus

When our culinary team creates a dish, they use fresh ingredients delivered each day. It’s essential to provide appetizing food, so residents receive the nourishment they need. Fresher ingredients taste better, plus they offer more nutrients. 

We never use a corporate menu when planning our meals. Instead, we put residents’ feedback at the heart of our menu options. After all, variety is the spice of life, and our menus aim to provide ample variety to please even the most discerning of palates. 

Our Amazing Culinary Team

We can’t say enough about how wonderful our culinary team members are. They prepare food for residents, but they also take the time to stop and visit, offering a warm greeting or a few minutes of conversation during mealtimes. Some of our team members have been with us for over 20 years. 

Chef Deanna leads our team, and she is responsible for the many creative and delicious dishes our residents enjoy. Whether preparing a savory entrée or tasty dessert, Chef Deanna always takes resident requests and feedback into account. 

The Culinary Experience

Freshly made menu options encourage healthy appetites. Yet having delicious food to enjoy and neighbors to talk with is something residents can look forward to every day. This important fact is often overlooked, but we keep it top of mind because we know our residents appreciate and thrive on an enjoyable culinary experience.

Would you like more information about Birches Assisted Living and Memory Care? Or tour our community and sample some of the food yourself? 

Email Mary Ferguson at mferguson@birches.net