Operations Best Practices

How Culinary Services Can Boost Resident Satisfaction and Build Transferable Skills with Life Enrichment Teams

April 26, 2023

When it comes to creating a positive and engaging experience for residents in senior living communities, the roles of culinary services and life enrichment teams may seem quite different. While culinary services are responsible for providing nutritious and tasty meals, life enrichment teams focus on creating engaging and stimulating activities for residents. However, these two departments can actually work together to boost resident satisfaction and build transferable skills.

One of the main ways culinary services can boost resident satisfaction is by offering menu options that cater to residents' dietary needs and preferences. This may include offering meals that are gluten-free, low-sodium, or vegetarian, or incorporating regional or cultural favorites into the menu. By providing a variety of options that meet residents' needs and preferences, culinary services can help ensure that residents are satisfied with their meals.

But the impact of culinary services goes beyond just meals. By using a life enrichment platform to collaborate with life enrichment teams, culinary services can also help boost resident engagement and satisfaction. The platform can be used to plan food-related events, such as cooking demonstrations, themed dinners, and wine and cheese tastings. Additionally, the platform can be used to gather resident feedback on the food and dining experience, enabling culinary services to continuously improve their services and meet residents' needs.

Welbi’s latest Hero, Dawn McKirdy from VIVA Retirement communities, is a leading example of this. Dawn began her journey working in senior living as a culinary manager. Some of the things she loved about the job were creating menus, connecting with residents in the dining room, and encouraging them to interact with each other. As a Lifestyle Manager, she uses many of the same skills planning activities and engaging her residents. Dawn is a natural, outgoing person who loves interacting with residents and finds it very rewarding to bring smiles to their faces. 

VIVA Retirement Communities does an excellent job of ensuring that each department strives to provide residents with a great quality of life. Their goal is to make sure that residents have all the fun and comforts of home, so they can have a smooth transition when they move in. That includes a great experience while eating, too! 

By working together, culinary services and life enrichment teams can create a more cohesive and enjoyable experience for residents. Through menu planning and food-related activities, culinary services can help boost resident satisfaction, while collaborations between the two departments can build transferrable skills and foster a stronger sense of community. Ultimately, this can lead to a more positive and fulfilling experience for residents in senior living communities.

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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