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Thoughts on Eating Well

September 14, 2018

One of the best parts of life at The Saybrook at Haddam is the dining plan which includes three chef-prepared meals daily, served in an elegant dining room, a private dining room, or outside on one of several patios.  The delicious and varied menus provide plenty of options for residents, and they are able to enjoy each meal in a welcoming social setting, dining with friends. This helps ensure residents are eating regularly and nutritiously, which makes a significant difference in their overall health and wellness.

By planning healthy meals that use locally grown ingredients whenever possible, the dining staff at The Saybrook at Haddam makes it easy to eat well. Meals are planned around resident requests, seasonal favorites, and chef-inspired creations.  Portions are managed so residents don’t feel overwhelmed with too much food on their plates – but, at the same time, there always seems to be more than enough food for all.  Of course, with no shopping, prepping, or clean up, all residents need to do is simply enjoy themselves!

We offer a variety of foods and drinks because seniors often encounter changes and challenges in their eating habits – and we want to remove those barriers for them.  In an On-Health article, “Age Related Eating Problems,” Dr. Robert Bargar says it is common for senior citizens to struggle with things like chewing or upset stomachs.  This all presents a danger for the overall health and wellness of any senior, especially those living alone.  Dr. Bargar suggests seniors keep canned and bottled fruits and vegetables on hand, as well as eggs, ground meats, yogurt, puddings, and juices.  These types of foods are available daily at The Saybrook at Haddam, so residents can simply pick what makes most sense for them without any fuss or concern.  We also offer mealtime monitoring for assisted living residents who may need that extra attention.

Meals can be a particular frustration for seniors facing dementia or other memory-related illnesses.  Many of these folks become indifferent to eating, overeat, or get stressed out with the process of eating.  In “5 Solutions for Mealtime Problems Common to Those With Dementia,” Paula Spencer Scott says families sometimes “have to rethink the way the food is presented and served” to be sure their loved ones enjoy meals once again.  Some easy changes she suggests include smaller portions, serving finger foods or pre-cut foods, walking before or after a meal, using plain white plates with a contrasting place mat, and keeping noise to a minimum during meals. At Safe Harbor, we agree and follow many of these simple steps to reduce anxiety and increase the willingness of each memory care resident to eat better.

Having said all of this, there are independent residents who are life-long cooks who enjoy preparing meals and baking treats.  This is why our fully stocked Country Kitchen is such a popular feature – a place where residents can cook or bake with grandchildren or with friends when the mood strikes.  It is fun to see a lot of activity in that room – and who doesn’t enjoy the smells of homemade goodies?

Throughout our lives, we share meals with family and friends as a daily ritual, to celebrate special occasions or achievements, or simply to enjoy time with one another. We view our dining room as a continuation of this tradition where friends gather, enjoy conversation, and get to know each other better.  It’s all part of life at The Saybrook at Haddam!

For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.

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