Senior meal deliveries vary across care facilities based on the mobility and health of each resident. While some of these practices have been in place for some senior care homes, having options and a variety is a part of senior care. With the COVID-19 outbreak happening across the nation, there are new practices that your home will have to consider in order to continue providing a healthy menu with options while serving these residents safely.
Tray Carts in the Dining Room
While your home may have always utilized trays in the resident's room, you may not have the use of a tray cart that can properly carry these trays while maintaining temperature. It is critical that even for those seniors who can venture to the dining room take their meals in their room. The best way to get them there is with a tray cart designed to maintain the temperature so that your staff can take the time to stop and deliver to each room without compromising the quality of the meal.
Buffet and Restaurant Style Serving
If your kitchen is in the habit of serving multiple options to residents, it may be in your interest to utilize the tray cart for the trained member of the dietary team to carry portions of your dishes so that you can serve each guest what they desire in their room. If the food selection style was reflected in your commercial kitchen before, keeping this familiarity with the residents will prevent further confusion and maintain consistency in their routine.
Another option is to consider restaurant-style serving, where the residents have the option to call down and request certain meals. Following the growing take-out trend, this is often the most convenient option for both the kitchen staff and the senior residents who are able to communicate successfully and do not have any dietary restrictions.
SuzyQ to the Rescue
The SuzyQ cart system is designed to maintain quality food when delivering to senior residents at your home. It can safely go room to room, allowing you to minimize contact during delivery and still provide the requested meal to your residents. Designed to carry restaurant style portions, it is a transportable buffet option that allows your guests to choose the items they want for their meal.
Because of its design, it reduced the amount of waste annually. Residents can opt-out of sides they do not find appealing and double up on their favorites. At the cart handle, there is a station for sanitized dishes and silverware, giving them a sense of home and familiarity by being served. The SuzyQ can carry both chilled and warmed dishes while serving. Depending on the number of residents in your home, you can choose from two different size options.
Your senior residents require hydration as one of the best ways to maintain their health. Including a mobile beverage station for your residents allows them to have the options they are accustomed to with your home. Having beverage options will encourage hydration and maintain strong immune systems through the duration of the outbreak.
You can still offer drinks that are nutritious and blended for their convenience. Hot and cold beverages can be made available, offering everything from tea and coffee to lemonade, water, and other preferred beverages.
Making the Transition
Having the right equipment to maintain your level of service in-room for senior residents is essential. Each senior in your home should still be able to have options and that familiar service despite the dining room closing and them taking all of their meals in their rooms. Take advantage of the equipment options today that will allow you to maintain their safety and health while providing them with leading service from your kitchen. At Lakeside, we are here to assist you with any questions or needs you may have during this time.
Lakeside Has You Covered
Watch the recorded webinar for free from Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietary Manager, Suzanne Quiring for a review of COVID19 and what Food Service professionals need to lean into during this national crisis. Topics covered:
- Infection control
- Good food handling techniques
- Staff communication
- Practical ideas on providing meal service when a dining room can't be used
- Resources to support your leadership role needs during this uncertain time