Seeking trendsetters in LTC, senior living

ANFP wants to promote and highlight foodservice innovation among operators.

Published in FSD Update

The Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) is making plans to “identify and showcase” innovation in the long-term care (LTC) and senior living markets through its education arm, the National Foodservice Education Foundation (NFEF). At a post-conference session with directors and chefs in these markets at MenuDirections 2014, Kate Dockins, executive director of the NFEF, said the ultimate goal is “to advance the culture of innovation among foodservice professionals in long-term care and senior living.”

Dockins and Jeremy Manners, CDM, a member of the NFEF board and the culinary and nutrition director for West Haven Manor, in Apollo, Pa., were at the conference to present the findings of a survey of dining trends in LTC and senior living. The survey, conducted by Technomic Inc. among 500 residents of such facilities, 500 family members of residents and 400 ANFP members, was the first step toward reaching NFEF’s goal, the pair said. (See “Neighborhood Model Need Grows in LTC.”)

“To get there, we need to break down the barriers between the CDMs (certified dietary managers), the chefs, the dietitians and the executive directors,” Manners said.

Several members of the audience agreed, and Virginia Ohanian, director of culinary and nutrition services at Saint Andrews Estates North, in Boca Raton, Fla., suggested that the industry could benefit from at least a conference devoted exclusively to senior living foodservice professionals.

One main result of the Technomic study revealed that most LTC facilities are shifting from a medical model to a neighborhood model, the result for foodservice being an increase in the variety of meals and the flexibility in meal periods and a growth in the use of such service vehicles as carts and kiosks, snack shops, c-stores and food courts, as well as increased reliance on 24-hour room service and even alcohol service.

The major driver for these changes is the rapidly shifting demographics in LTC. Manners said nursing homes are seeing more people in their 20s for drug and alcohol rehab and middle-age patients coming in for rehab after procedures like knee and hip replacements.

“Nursing homes are no longer just places where people go to pass on,” he said. “They come to live. Resident needs are changing and foodservice has to evolve. Foodservice has a greater role to play and CDMs are more critical than ever.”

However, although such changes will require an investment on the part of LTC operators, Manners said that the majority of LTC operators surveyed said they did not expect to be able to add additional staff or to be able to make a significant investment in foodservice. “Investment will be required, but you can make a lot of changes without investing a lot of money,” he explained, adding that suppliers “can be a valuable resource.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

Ideas and Innovation
student food tray

Stories of students who can’t pay for lunch being given a subpar meal or shamed for their debt have proliferated in recent years, and it’s not an uncommon problem. The SNA’s 2016 School Nutrition Operations Report found that about three-quarters of school districts had an unpaid student meal debt at the end of last school year, an increase from 71% of districts reporting debt in 2014.

Government has begun to take action. In April, the USDA issued new regulations mandating that schools implement unpaid meal policies by the start of the 2017-18 school year and clarifying that schools...

FSD Resources