Answering Ageism with Innovation

pureed fruit demonstration

A Few Thoughts from Our 2016 LeadingAge Conference Experience

If you had the opportunity to attend the 2016 LeadingAge Conference, you saw Unidine Fresh Thinking on display throughout the Expo Hall. We partnered with LeadingAge to create an immersive dining experience that was different than anything attendees had experienced at a LeadingAge conference before.

We recreated three completely different styles of senior living dining venues representing fine dining, an artisan bistro and a casual grill. Every day, each venue delivered a unique menu of dining options while display stations demonstrated the latest advances in our Puree With PurposeSM and Fresh BitesSM for memory care programs. We hope you had the opportunity to sample some of the thousands of Puree With Purpose and Fresh Bites samples that our chefs created and our brand ambassadors distributed during the lunches. We were truly amazed at how quickly the samples disappeared, and we were humbled by the positive feedback and expressions of gratitude we received from the attendees. If you were one of them – thanks!

What’s The Big Deal?

Like many of you, we receive the LeadingAge magazine by email, and we found the latest issue particularly inspiring. In an article entitled “Our Bold Vision for the Future,” LeadingAge’s CEO, Katie Smith Sloan, discussed the leadership’s bold new vision for the organization: An America freed from ageism.

At Unidine, we have often talked about how our culinary, dietary and hospitality professionals share a conviction that residents should not have to sacrifice quality or enjoyment for convenience. Residents deserve an exceptional dining experience regardless of their capabilities, limitations or special requirements – every day. It is a theme that parallels the belief stated in the article that, “we ALL deserve respect, dignity, and choice.”

Chef demonstrating PureeWithPurpose program at LeadingAge 2016Chef demonstrating PureeWithPurpose program at LeadingAge 2016

LeadingAge 2016 attendees watch chef Christina Dahlstedt plate a pureed meal of Chili Lime Chicken. The chef is adding grill marks to enhance the visual appeal.

In practical terms, this means that if residents find an Indiana Pork Loin on the menu, as LeadingAge conference attendees did, those who require a puree diet should enjoy the same flavor profiles as their peers and have their meals presented in a way that respects their dignity.

Pureed Indiana Pork Loin at LeadingAge

Is Chili Lime Chicken on the Menu? There should be a puree option as well.

Demonstration of pureed Chili Lime Chicken at LeadingAge 2016

Fresh fruit at brunch?

pureed fruit demonstration

We also demonstrated solutions for memory care residents who cannot use utensils effectively or have a tendency to wander during meal time. Our Fresh Bites memory care dining program presents standard menu items in bite-sized portions that don’t require utensils and are easy to carry. Once again, it’s a solution that allows residents to enjoy the same flavor profiles as their peers while presenting the meal in a way that respects their dignity.

Conference attendees who enjoyed Chicken Saltimbocca on the buffet line were treated to sample of the selection transformed for Fresh Bites.

samples of Chicken Saltimbocca for FreshBites memory care program

The second day, we demonstrated how a Fresh Romaine Salad is transformed.

Ceasar salad - FreshBites memory care program demo

A brunch brioche and smoked bacon strata?

Fresh Bites memory care dining program demonstration

We hope that our demonstration added to your enjoyment of the conference. If we were also able to prompt new conversations about innovative ways to ensure respect, dignity and choice for residents, then we truly met our goal.

 

RELATED RESOURCES

Memory Care Programs Require a Strategic Approach to Nutrition

How to Develop a Dining Strategy for Senior Living

Workforce Stability Identified As Top Challenge in Self-Op Dining Programs


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