Mealtime is the time when you meet other people and have a sense of community in the facility. Since there are 3 meals a day, where you sit and what you eat significantly impacts your everyday life. If you enjoy the meals, you will be more likely to easily settle into assisted living.
Before you move in, you want to:
- Sample the food so you know what choices you will have
- Have several meals at the assisted living home – try breakfast and then come back for dinner
- Ask whether all the residents eat the same thing or you can order what you want
- Ask whether you are assigned a table or you can sit at a different table anytime you want
- Ask if you can have the meal brought to your room; and
- If you need assistance getting to and from the dining room, ask how you get assistance – is there a long wait
These may seem like simple questions but they can be key factors as to whether you like the assisted living facility or not. My Dad lived in several different assisted living homes. Since he lived independently for 88 years, eating at a dining room table took time to get used to. Since he was in a wheelchair, he often was brought to the table very early and had to wait for other residents before he could eat. This was very frustrating for him. If he had people at his table he liked, he looked forward to the meal. However, if he had residents who had a lot of memory or behavior issues, he wanted to stay in his room.
Communication with the staff is the “key.”
For more information about what my Dad and I learned, see HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility.
I hope this post helps you Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!