Dining for residents living in Assisted Living at East Ridge is under the watchful eye of Food and Beverage Director Miguel Parks who emphasizes quality, taste, variety and service.
Residents in assisted living have three meals a day and snacks and enjoy a dining experience similar to what the community offers in its independent living community. The dining room in assisted living is much like any restaurant with tablecloths and cloth napkins and table service.
“At East Ridge, there are three different menus available each day,” explained Parks. “There’s a menu that changes each day and includes homemade soup, salad, catch of the day or choice between three entrees, vegetable and starch selection and dessert. There is also the “Always Available Menu” and a “Healthy Body Menu” with spa-type menu options that are lower in fat, salt or sugar.”
Found at East Ridge is a centralized commercial kitchen where the same cooks work “the lines” for assisted living, independent living and skilled nursing providing quality, consistency and presentation for all dining areas. Servicing five different areas of the East Ridge campus at the same time means 1,200 meals a day, 365 days of the year.
“We know the dining experience is very important to our residents and their families,” he said. “It is one of the most important factors cited when selecting a community. Our sales and marketing team always encourages families to come for a meal when they are considering a move for their loved one.”
Although residents living in assisted living can have room service at no charge, it’s important to seniors’ overall wellbeing to interact with others. The East Ridge team encourages social interaction, something that may have been missing before moving to the life plan community.
Breakfast at assisted living is made to order and very popular among residents.
“Our chefs start their day at 5:30 a.m. and are on hand to make anything a resident may want,” he said. “Eggs, omelets, Cream of Wheat and oatmeal are among the most popular requests.”
Another popular time is the community’s happy hours held Tuesdays and Fridays.
“We want our residents to feel this is their home. Just like they would have a cocktail before dinner, we serve wine and non-alcoholic beverages,” added Parks.
Whether it’s assisted living or independent living, Parks believes his philosophy is to be very hands on.
“Our chefs and I interact with our residents. It’s important to be present in the dining room and illicit residents’ feedback,” he said. “I call it ‘touching the tables’. We want their feedback and feel this interaction creates a strong sense of community and helps residents feel connected and welcomed.”
To learn more about the advantages of living at East Ridge and the various care options available in independent living and those offered in assisted living at Three Palms Health Center, please call to arrange a tour at 305-256-3564.