Mealtimes can be stressful for many senior citizens. Quality senior living centers should always be striving to find ways to alleviate stress and make mealtimes more enjoyable for their residents.
If you are looking for a creative and delicious alternative to traditional meals within your senior living center, consider the benefits that a finger foods menu can provide.
1. Increased Comfort
Many elderly individuals find it difficult to complete tasks that require a high level of dexterity. Advanced age and arthritis can leave senior citizens with limited mobility in the joints of their fingers and hands. This results in a lack of dexterity, and is often accompanied by pain and discomfort when trying to use the hands.
Grasping a fork, spoon, or knife during mealtimes can create a lot of discomfort for some seniors. By adding a finger foods menu to your senior living center, you can increase the comfort level of your residents during scheduled mealtimes.
2. Increased Dignity
In addition to creating physical discomfort due to a lack of dexterity and control, mealtimes can create emotional discomfort for some senior citizens as well. Losing the ability to care for oneself is something that many senior citizens struggle with. Having to be fed like a child can be humiliating for the elderly.
The social stigma of having a staff member cut up foods and hand-feed meals can send some senior citizens into a deep depression. By instituting a finger foods menu through your senior living center's contract food provider, you allow your residents to maintain the dignity that comes with being able to feed themselves.
3. Increased Independence
Staff members employed by senior living centers work hard to ensure the needs of residents are met. Unfortunately, the number of residents usually outnumbers staff members in these care facilities.
This means that if multiple residents within your senior care center need assistance with their meals, staff members will be spread thin during scheduled mealtimes. Some senior citizens might have to wait to eat, resulting in meals that have cooled and the discomfort of watching others eat.
Finger foods give aging residents the opportunity to remain as independent as possible. This independence frees up staff members to complete other vital care tasks that need to be addressed during mealtimes.
Talk to your contract food services company about developing a finger foods menu for your senior care center. Finger foods can provide you and your residents with a number of benefits that will improve the quality of life within the center over time.