As Baby Boomers are slowly inheriting retirement centers from the Silent Generation, a number of changes are taking place, particularly in the area of dining. Whereas the Silent Generation seemed to prefer the rigid structure of a daily set dining time, Boomers seem to enjoy the flexibility of dining on their schedule. They also are shunning the Silent era tradition of dressing for dinner and formal dining in favor of a more casual, relaxed atmosphere.
Senior Dining Options
In addition, the younger set tends to want more choices when it comes to dining options. Retirement communities are stepping up in a number of different ways. Many communities now offer a wide range of dining options ranging from less formal dining rooms to far more casual cafes. These less casual cafes also offer a more suitable option for dining with guests. In the more formal environs of the dining hall, many residents prefer to retain their seat from one meal to the next, which can make things very uncomfortable for guests. Younger guests are also often uncomfortable with the formality of larger dining halls, so the cafe environment can be a much better option all around.
Unlike members of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers simply did not grow up dressing for dinner and eating at a table set with linens, real silverware and fresh cut flowers. They find this sort of formality to be somewhat stifling and uncomfortable. In addition to cafe options, many communities are offering patio dining in warmer weather, which residents who are used to a less formal experience seem to love.
Changing How Elderly Eat
Food choices themselves are changing as well. Many retirement communities now work with professional chefs and dietitians to provide food that is not only nutritionally sound, but delicious as well. In addition to offering less formal meals, many facilities are offering a number of “grab-n-go” options in their cafes as well. This includes refrigerated sections that offer juices, salads, sandwiches, yogurt and fresh fruit. Not only is this a great option for residents who don’t want to sit and eat with others, but it also provides great options for staff and guests as well.
Dining Services for Seniors
Food service companies like Glendale Senior Dining are working with various facilities to help them up their food service game. Glendale works with each individual facility to determine what their capabilities are and how they can tailor their current operations to provide food service that is more in keeping with the changing tastes of their residents. Their specialized team works with each client individually to help them determine what options are most viable for their location and then develop a specialized plan to help them achieve their food service goals.
Just based on sheer numbers alone, Boomers have a great deal of power when it comes to getting what they want. More than ever before retirement communities and senior living facilities have to consider the wishes and desires of their residents and guest when it comes to developing appropriate food service options.
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