Senior Living: Farm to Table
In recent years, there has been a significant shift in senior living dining that has had a positive impact on the overall well-being of older adults. Gone are the days of bland, unappetizing meals served in sterile dining rooms. Instead, senior living communities are now focusing on creating dining experiences that are not only delicious but also cater to the specific dietary needs of older adults.
One of the most impactful trends in senior living dining is the move toward fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Senior living communities are partnering with local farmers and suppliers to bring in fresh produce, meats, and other ingredients. This not only provides residents with healthier, more flavorful meals, but it also supports the local community.
Northbridge Communities have adopted the local farm-to-table trend at all of their communities. They've noticed over the years that, "Age does not lessen the desire for fresh, quality dining, it often enhances it!" They believe there are several benefits from sourcing produce locally, such as promoting the local economy, reducing their carbon footprint, and the produce is able to retain more of its nutritional value as it's harvested closer to the time of purchase.¹
Another trend is the emphasis on customizable menus that cater to the dietary needs of older adults. Many senior living communities now offer a range of menu options, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-sodium dishes, to ensure that residents with specific dietary needs can still enjoy delicious and nutritious meals.
In addition, senior living communities are now placing a greater emphasis on the dining experience itself. Dining rooms are being redesigned to feel more like upscale restaurants, with comfortable seating, stylish decor, and even live music. This creates a more enjoyable and social experience for residents, and can also help promote healthy eating habits.
The impact of these trends can be seen in the overall health and well-being of older adults living in senior living communities. By providing nutritious, flavorful meals that cater to individual dietary needs, senior living communities are helping residents maintain their physical health. And by creating a more enjoyable dining experience, they are promoting socialization and mental well-being as well.
As the senior living industry continues to evolve, it's likely that we'll see even more innovative approaches to dining that benefit older adults in meaningful ways.