Six Ways Senior Living Promotes Healthy Aging through Dining

Six Ways Senior Living Promotes Healthy Aging through Dining

Good nutrition is such an essential part of aging well. Eating a balanced diet allows all of us to live an active lifestyle, maintain an ideal weight and stay as physically healthy as possible. For senior individuals, a healthy and well-balanced diet plays an even more important role by helping with digestion issues, improving memory and cognitive function, keeping teeth and bones strong and basically helping all body systems to work as well as possible.

“The essential vitamins and nutrients found in healthy foods are more important for seniors than for any other age group, but it’s an age group that also can make poor food choices that negatively affect their health and quality of life,” says Sue Sunderland, Executive Director of The Bridges at Warwick, a supportive personal care community in Jamison, PA. “That’s because as we age, our nutritional needs change and our metabolisms slow down. We become less active, and it’s a lot easier to overeat because our bodies need fewer calories. We can start to lose our sense of taste, or may experience side effects from medications such as lack of appetite, or simply have problems eating because of difficulty swallowing or problems with dentures.”

At The Bridges at Warwick, we understand the importance good nutrition has on our residents’ health. More importantly, we understand that a great dining experience can elevate mealtimes, provide an incredible sense of well-being and community and can improve the lives of our residents in so many ways. We strive to make mealtimes at our community into a dining adventure filled with amazing food, stimulating conversation and a welcoming, familial atmosphere.

To further help us provide an outstanding experience for our residents, The Bridges at Warwick have partnered with Cura Hospitality, a celebrated regional company providing exceptional dining and clinical services to independent, assisted living and skilled care communities throughout the mid-Atlantic. Here are just six of the ways The Bridges at Warwick and Cura Hospitality promotes healthy aging through our dining experience: 

A shared community

Studies have shown that older adults who eat alone tend to have poor eating habits, which can lead to malnutrition, a compromised immune system, depression and weakness that can lead to accidents and falls. Those same studies show that sharing meals can encourage seniors to make healthy choices while eating.

The dining experience at Bridges at Warwick is restaurant-style, with plated meals served table-side. Each table seats up to four seniors, which promotes friendly conversation and a comfortable, homelike environment. Our wait staff also engages residents in conversation and assists those who need it. There’s no such thing as a lonely meal here, and you can always expect smiling faces and caring friends around you at all times. 

Home-cooked dishes

Every restaurant-style dish that comes through our kitchen doors is prepared from scratch and tailored to individual tastes. By relying on our chef’s ingenuity and creativity (and not pre-packaged, processed ingredients), our residents always have the healthiest options that have been designed for their particular palates. Our chef works with a licensed nutritionist to adapt recipes according to our residents’ dietary needs, and can easily substitute or adapt recipes for optimum nutrition.

Locally sourced, fresh ingredients

The Bridges at Warwick is fortunate to be located in a region known for great local produce and meats. Whenever possible, we use ingredients sourced from Bucks County, PA, as well as greater Philadelphia-area meats, produce, seafood and grains. Our partnership with Cura extends to the Common Market located near Philadelphia, which helps our community’s needs of buying fresh, local fare.

Local food provides more than just regional tastes. Food that is “in season” is eaten at the peak of their flavor and nutrition, which means residents are able to get the most bang for their buck (so to speak). Local area farms also have a focus on organic, sustainably sourced practices, and generally have fewer additives and pesticides than items shipped from afar. Finally, local food allows us to more accurately create favorite dishes that our residents recognize from their past!

Food as entertainment

There’s a lot more to the dining services at The Bridges of Warwick than just three square meals a day. Our chef and dining crew are always willing to create spectacular birthday celebrations, table-side displays, incredible catering, host brew club meetings, provide enticing appetizers and snacks and a variety of other options for pleasing the palate. We also offer monthly cooking demonstrations, where our Cura Chef shows off the latest techniques, new and exotic ingredients and fun dishes for our residents and guests to try. The Bridges of Warwick also enjoys celebrating the holidays, and our kitchen staff is eager to oblige by providing delicious festive food to bring the merry. Another fun monthly feature is our “Feature Meals,” where our chef creates a rich sampling of exotic foods from around the world. 

Resident input

Our resident menu committee decides once a quarter what items will be placed on our menus, and comment cards are on every table at every meal, allowing us to hear concerns and questions (which are followed up within 72 hours or less). A dining room supervisor is present at every meal to assist with service and observe the experience. We also provide resident satisfaction surveys annually, and offer meetings such as Food For Thought (where residents can make menu suggestions) and Chat With The Dietician (where residents can ask dietary questions or attend a Dining Wellness class).

Continued training

Thanks to our partnership with Cura Hospitality, our kitchen staff is able to benefit from training at Cura Culinary College and continually hone and improve their skills. Our dining service employees are all graduates of Cura Service College and continue training opportunities through the program in order to become more service-oriented and provide a heightened dining experience for each and every resident. 

For more information about how our dining experience promotes healthy aging, contact our staff at The Bridges at Warwick.

Activity. Friendship. Support. Convenience. Value. 

You’ll find it all at The Bridges at Warwick, located in beautiful Bucks County, where everyday is a celebration of seniors. Our philosophy of “Celebrating Life” means that our residents enjoy a sense of purpose and contentment along with fun, personalized care and a focus on total well-being.

Our Personalized Supportive Care provides just the right amount of assistance to help you remain independent, along with life-enriching programs, services and amenities. Our exclusive Vista Transitional Living Program offers specialized programming our supportive care residents who have memory challenges but do not yet require a secure residence. For those whose memory loss is more advanced, we offer The Vista, our secure, comprehensive memory care residence.

In keeping with our founder Robert Basile’s personal philosophy, developed during his efforts to find quality senior living for his beloved father, senior adults remain our passion. We fill our residents’ lives with countless opportunities to engage with both new and treasured friends; events and programs to enjoy with family members and loved ones; as well as innovative and creative activities that foster engagement. Our dedication to total wellness – for mind, body and spirit – is woven into our culture every day.

Contact us today or call 215.269.7745 for more information or to arrange a personal tour.

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