When it comes to senior retirement living and the concept of dining options, most people think of a drab dining experience. They think of senior’s dining options are something like a high school-style cafeteria where seniors can choose from either the grey stuff or the not-so-grey stuff. While there was some truth to that perception, it isn’t like that these days. For most seniors, their dining options are more like modern café style dining (like the type you’d see at chains like Panera or Chipotle) or more high class dining like you would see in any upper class restaurant.
Why are Senior’s Dining Options Changing?
The reasons for these changes in scenery and dining options is because of the rising number of seniors retiring recently. People that are looking into senior retirement living spaces and communities are coming from a more recent generation, the baby boomers. Baby boomers are more likely to be more trendy and outgoing than previous retiring generations. Because of that, they influenced the way they want to retire, making senior living communities in many areas to rethink how they do things. This includes dining options likee what goes in the food and how they eat it.
Today’s Nutrition and How It Affects Senior Dining Options
Because of what common nutrients, vitamins, and other essentials that seniors need these days, what they eat needs to adapt to their requirements. Cafeteria-style dining and food aren’t the most optimal for today’s seniors. Places can’t feed the same thing day to day and expect seniors to get the proper nutrition they need daily. There’s reasons why senior’s dining options needed to be changed.
- First off, seniors’ metabolism is slower than young people’s. It’s a natural part of the body as it grows older. When you reach your senior years, your body doesn’t burn as many calories as it once did. Which means seniors need to eat less to stay healthy while eating foods that are more nutrient-rich like vegetables and certain proteins.
- A senior’s digestive system has changed over the years. The body of a senior individual takes more time to digest food and absorb nutrients.
- Senior’s appetite and tastes has changed due to medications. Because of the way medications aftereffects affects senior’s habits and their eating, many seniors’ appetites or tastes have changed. As a result, eating the same bulk-style food everyday isn’t the best for them.
- Senior’s emotions are a bit different than others and can affect their eating habits. Many seniors face issues of depression or loneliness, mainly because they are far away from their loved ones. This might cause them to eat differently when compared to others. Because of that, atmosphere and what seniors eat need to change, depending on the individual.
Because of these changes, senior retirement living means different types of meals and how they are served. Instead of food being served in bulk from a single tray, meals need to be prepped to the individual by their tastes and their needed nutrients. Meals need to have the needed essentials like healthy fats, more wholesome grains, calcium for bones, and more. They also need less consumption preservatives when possible.
The New Dining Options for Those in Senior Retirement Living
Because of the changing atmosphere and needs of seniors, senior retirement living spaces and communities need to adapt as well. Since the idea of a buffet-style eating option is not a welcomed concept, many communities have invested in turning their dining halls to be more of a casual dining space or something that resembles a five-star dining experience.
The Casual Dining Atmosphere for Seniors
Senior living communities are embracing the idea of fast casual dining for their residents. This concept is based on certain casual dining places like Panera and Corner Bakery. This means customized ordering, stylish menus, modern style décor in the dining area, and much more. This idea was brought up because of the trends and the waves of retiring Baby Boomers. Since more Baby Boomers are retiring and moving to senior retirement living spaces, they want the same things they had before made the move.
Upscale Dining for those in Senior Living
Many retiring Baby Boomers have more sophisticated taste buds and are more willing to invest more for a better living experience than those before them. Because of this, senior living communities have started putting their efforts in bringing the sophisticated style to their residents’ experience. This includes hiring highly experienced chefs, putting in a more luxurious atmosphere, and more. Because of this, more seniors will likely opt for a community that provides wonderful experience than others that offer the standard fare and atmosphere.
Because of ongoing trends of the new incoming retirees, senior retirement living communities and other places are making sure that dining options are one of their highest priorities. The idea of long lines for everyday meals is slowly fading out and for good reasons.