Crafting delicious and nutritious meals is second nature to our amazing Dining Services Teams. By prioritizing each resident’s health and wellbeing through our Meaningful Moments program, each and every JEA Team Member – including our Dining Services Team – becomes an integral part of our holistic approach to care. It is from the dedication and diligence of our Food Service Directors, Chefs, and Dietary Aides, that our Specialized Dining Program is successful in promoting health and wellness for each resident.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, every member of Team JEA has been working diligently to keep our residents and team members safe. Certainly not the least of these is our Dining Services Teams. These unsung heroes not only provide amazing meals and snacks for our residents, but they also provide daily opportunities for engagement and meaningful interaction with others. Working behind the scenes, many of our Dining Teams have also been providing meals and snacks for our Care Teams to enjoy during their shifts and have even prepared meals for them to take home to their families. With outdoor cookouts on the grill, door-to-door resident snack and beverage carts, and even live cooking demonstrations, our teams have been helping nourish both body, mind, and heart through their craft of cooking and caring.
At Sage Park Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Gahanna, Ohio our Dining Team has prepared amazing take-and-bake dinners for our Team Members and their families to enjoy. Lakeya Williams, Food Service Director of Sage Park decided to appreciate the entire team by creating a meal for every staff member, which was also enough to take home to feed their families. With everything going on, Lakeya wanted to ensure that Sage Park Team Members would not have to worry about making dinner and could enjoy a delicious take-and-bake meal.
Ashley Wolf, Community Resource Director had this to say about Lakeya, “Lakeya is constantly going above and beyond her “job title” to help make meaningful moments, spend time with our residents and bring to the table creative ways to make our staff feel appreciated. Providing a monthly cooking demo for residents, Lakeya enjoys sharing recipes and her love of cooking. She also spends time every week curling and primping our resident’s hair to help them look and feel their best!”
Team Members at River Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Miami Township, Ohio are also blessed to have incredible individuals on their Dining Services Team. Rikki Isbell is a Cook at River Oaks who is always willing to help spread cheer and encourage residents by helping with the traveling Birthday Cart. Throughout the new dining “norm”, Jon Hardin, Dietary Aide at River Oaks is always willing to go above and beyond to be a welcoming presence for residents as they are brought to meals in the dining room.
This amazing Team is led by James Hill, Food Service Director of River Oaks. Aleashia Wood, Administrator of River Oaks had this to share about James’ dedication to serving his residents, “James goes above and beyond to help with any and all facets of operations. From playing the piano for residents, playing Santa Claus during the holidays, helping with marketing events, putting on cooking demonstrations for residents (like a recent one on how to make Bacon Apricot Wrapped Chicken – YUM!), and even assisting in the barbershop to help residents stay looking sharp. We are so appreciative of everything James does to help our residents, families, and team members.”
Lakewood Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Brookfield, WI recently enjoyed a backyard barbeque with their residents and team members. Food Service Director, Dean McArthur, organized an amazing outdoor experience alongside Program Director, Maria Soulis, to create Meaningful Moments for residents at Lakewood. Residents were able to visit with the Food Services Team around the grill, relax in the sunshine in the beautiful courtyard, and drink some delicious non-alcoholic beer. We are incredibly thankful for Dean and the entire Food Services Team for how they serve their residents!
At Barrington Place Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Clinton, UT, Reyna Espinosa leads an exceptional Food Service Team that never misses an opportunity to celebrate by crafting amazing dishes. Each resident receives an exquisitely decorated and delicious homemade cake on their birthday – weekends included! On Cinco De Mayo, Reyna and her team prepared delicious enchiladas complete with cilantro rice and Pico de Gallo. During a recent virtual visit to the Galapagos Islands, Reyna prepared fresh guacamole alongside fried plantains. The Barrington Food Services Team also provides cooking classes as activities for residents to engage and reminisce. During a recent cooking class, they prepared Chocolate Chip Cookies with residents and enjoyed the aroma of fresh cookies from the oven.
When asked about their amazing Food Services Team, LaPriel Henman, Barrington Place Community Resource Director, had this to say, “By doing what you love, you awaken and inspire the hearts of others.” When [I asked] our Food Services Team what they love most about serving the residents here at Barrington Place, the answer is ALWAYS the same… they love seeing and hugging the grandmas and grandpas every day. They truly love them like their own family. It’s so heartwarming.”
To share our passion for good food and health, here are a few Food Service Director-approved Brain Healthy snacks and the MyPlate Guide for Healthy Eating for Older Adults. Please enjoy in good health and stay well – Bon Appetit!