Our Culinary Program – A Sensory Experience

At Maplewood Senior Living, our culinary experience is one designed to excite and engage the senses. We start with fresh, locally sourced ingredients that change with the seasons and offer peak nutrition for our residents. Our culinary team creates dishes to delight the palate while focusing on presentation, because along with tastes and smells, sight is also an essential part of our dining experience.

We focus on the senses. Why? Simply because the five senses can be hindered with age and yet they’re critical to improving our resident’s quality of life. Every detail of the dining experience has been purposefully developed, from the expertise, passion and creativity of our chefs and dining staff to our dining environments.

We tailor our culinary experience to help each resident thrive, even when their senses change. Here are just a few examples of how we cater to our residents:

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Smell & Taste:

Our kitchen is always open, which means residents can smell fresh food being prepared, from the moment they wake up and entertain the idea of breakfast. These delicious aromas help stimulate appetites and mood, even if resident’s sense of smell is not as strong as it once was.

  • Open, display kitchens allow the scent of chef-prepared cuisine to travel throughout the dining room thus stimulating appetite and encouraging residents to participate.

 Hearing:

Hearing loss is common among many of our residents, so we’ve designed our kitchens to be open concept and audibly inviting. Our dining rooms are also designed with seating for 4 at each table, which allows for great conversation and socializing at meal times.

  • Sounds of fresh ingredients being chopped and prepared enhance the experience.

Sight:

As we age, and more so with a diagnosis of dementia, our visual field can be drastically affected. Sometimes limiting vision to the point of “looking through binoculars.” With this in mind, our culinary experience was designed to keep things as comfortable and functional as possible for our residents.

  • Bright, fresh cuisine takes center-stage and helps entice our residents.
  • Incorporating research from The Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association, our dining rooms were designed with pattern distinctions between chairs and carpet, along with white tableware and contrasting linens to assist residents with visual impairments.

Touch:

A lack of sensitivity to temperatures can pose real risks as we age. The very best culinary offerings also include being thoughtful to resident’s needs – which means providing meals that are prepared at just the right temperature for safety and enjoyment.

  • Monthly chef demonstrations encourage residents to touch and connect to foods we prepare.
  • Indoor potting rooms provide the opportunity to grow and harvest spices used in our daily meals.

The Dining Experience.

Maplewood Senior Living has put great emphasis on turning the dining experience into a social event to encourage participation, enjoyment and overall better nutrition habits. Our upscale restaurant style ‘tablescape’ draws residents to our dining spaces to enjoy the culinary delights that our Chef is preparing next. The social aspect of meals cannot be overlooked, as it is a key factor in senior nutrition. Research shows that seniors that are regularly alone at meal times, have poor nutrition. Couple that with a potential Alzheimer’s or Dementia diagnosis, and you’ll find that many seniors (who live alone) miss meals “by accident” due to diminishing short term memory, which means that they simply have no recollection of whether or not they have eaten. Much time and effort has been put in to our culinary program to ensure that our residents have the proper nutrition, in a setting that is pleasing and inviting.

Try something new.

What better opportunity to try something that you’ve never experienced, than when you have friends to share it with? We’ve found that even residents who have clearly defined preferences, are more likely to try something new when it is incorporated in a different way.  Maplewood Senior Living is always evolving the menu for our residents, to provide the best that each season and region has to offer. Keeping in mind the importance of engaging the senses, our culinary department works hard to locate local sources for the freshest possible ingredients. Even utilizing produce from a hydroponic greenhouse, to incorporate items like fresh mixed greens and butter lettuce for simply the best salads year round.

At Maplewood Senior Living, we recognize the critical role nutrition plays in health and well-being of our residents’ quality of life. Our culinary experience is one of a kind and we’re proud of the difference it makes in our communities. Schedule a tour to experience Maplewood Senior Living for yourself, click here.

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