Our daily bread

Tasty and satisfying food when we want it and how we want it is one of the small joys in life that many take for granted. How easy it is for most of us to make that weekly run to the local pizzeria for our favorite pie-loaded with roast chicken, heirloom tomatoes, and sliced artichoke on a thin hearth-fired crust slathered in fragrant pesto…. (Okay, so that’s

my standard Friday night selection, accompanied by a glass or two of California cabernet.)

In long-term care, access to good, nourishing, and delicious fare is a resident’s right that should never be compromised, but like everything else in life it often comes down to resources. I’ve dined in upscale, well-funded CCRCs whose food services rival some of the best restaurants I’ve had the pleasure to experience, and I’ve been to a state-funded nursing facility whose cuisine, if you can call it that, nearly brought me to tears of frustration for the relative I was visiting.

I understand that a resident’s medical condition and limited physical abilities may demand a special diet and delivery system, but so much of this most basic of daily activities goes beyond the food and is about the experience: An attractive presentation in soothing surroundings can make even the most restricted diet a bit more palatable. That’s not necessarily a resource issue, but an operational/management issue that providers are responsible for addressing.

In this issue, Long-Term Living looks at the challenges and opportunities that faith-based diets present for your communities. In “Feeding the Faithful,” page 24, Alan Richman explores the myriad menu and delivery options available to the operator-from kosher to halal-and the mission that drives many communities to offer their residents not only a menu that stays within the dietary parameters of these faiths, but a dining experience that satisfies the soul as well. Bon appétit!

Long-Term Living 2011 April;60(4):6

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