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Hello! My name is Rebecca Shafer and I am the Director of Dining Services as well as the Registered Dietitian for Villa St. Francis. As a full-time dietitian for the residents, I am able to attend care plan meetings, discuss resident food preferences, and provide nutrition education whenever needed. For this first blog post I would like to highlight our dining services department and the progress we’ve made since the beginning of the year.

Our Dining Services department has had many cosmetic updates, and has implemented a new serving style for our residents. Our main dining room service area has been renovated with new, kitchen-style countertops and cabinets to help the residents feel at home. Our staff is hands-on with residents during meal service, with our cooks out in the dining room to serve the meals and our dietary aides taking orders restaurant-style and catering to resident needs. This serving style allows our staff to interact more with each resident that orders a meal, which helps them learn about their individual food preferences. Residents are given more attention throughout the entire meal service to ensure their wants are addressed and their meal is a time of enjoyment.

Our menus are developed by myself and our Dining Services Manager in order to ensure that each meal provides the necessary nutrition while following the preferences of those in our community. We have implemented a liberalized diet plan at Villa St. Francis in order to promote resident choice. This means we do not limit residents to therapeutic diets such as diabetic diet, cardiac diet, low sodium diet, etc., where food options are restricted. Instead, the liberalized diet allows the residents to choose meal options just as they would at their own home. This promotes good quality of life by helping us avoid limiting or depriving a resident of foods they enjoy eating. If a resident needs help with food choices due to a health condition, that’s where I come in! Since I am at the Villa full time, I am able to visit with residents about their individual nutrition needs and concerns and help them learn about our food options. Please visit this website to read more about the benefits of a liberalized diet in long-term care settings: https://www.nutritioncaresystems.com/liberalizing-diets-in-long-term-care/.

We’re excited about these recent updates, and we’re eager to continue to stay on the front line when it comes to maximizing resident comfort and choice moving forward. Continue checking back for monthly updates from myself, along with information on how other departments here at Villa St. Francis are working hard to keep our mission at the core of resident life in our community.

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