Staff at Sunrise of Sonning have received training on fine dining to help enhance the mealtime experience for residents.
The session was led by Doreen Richards, senior dining room supervisor at the Berkshire home, who covered all aspects of fine dining including cutlery placement and how to decoratively fold napkins.
She also revealed how to greet residents and advised staff members to offer them a drink straight away so they have a refreshment available while deciding what to eat.
Richards believes it is important that staff members study the menu so they can answer questions from residents and be fully aware of the allergens that may be present. She also believes that staff should know even the smallest details, such as what music is playing during the meal in case anyone asks.
What’s more, Richards is adamant that staff should engage in conversation with residents, as building a rapport means that residents feel comfortable enough to reveal their likes and dislikes.
Adriano Goncalves de Carvalho, dining service coordinator at Sunrise of Sonning, said: “On average, 70% of a resident’s day revolves around food. Either thinking about what they will eat next or actively having a meal. For our residents, dining is a sociable affair, an opportunity to catch up with friends and enjoy a good meal with a glass of their favourite beverage. It is important we engage with our residents, tantalising all their senses.
“The smallest details can affect the whole ambiance and make all the difference,” he adds. “The food we serve matches the fine dining experience that our residents are accustomed to. Nutrition and hydration are so important to our residents wellbeing, but so is the experience.”
Senior care assistant Rafaela Paulino found the training extremely useful. She said: “It has helped me to engage with residents in a more meaningful way during mealtimes. Doreen has helped us to fine tune our napkin folding techniques, which is a very relaxing task may I add. She highlighted the importance of good communication during service – it is imperative for the wellbeing of our residents.”