Assisted living center embraces "neighborhoods"

Culture change to a person-centered care model is the hottest concept in long-term care and senior living. A new assisted-living facility at St. Andrews North, a continuing care retirement community, in Boca Raton, Fla., is the epitome of the concept.

Oak Bridge Terrace, a 72-resident building on the St. Andrews campus that opened last October, features three “neighborhoods” that include a dining area complete with an expanded menu, kitchens that mimic a home environment and many foods being cooked to order.

“What we wanted to do was to give residents the same style of service and living that we have in our independent living communities,” explains Virginia Ohanian, director of culinary and nutrition services. Oak Bridge Terrace has three floors, each of which is referred to as a neighborhood. As many as 24 residents live in each neighborhood, and they dine in a cozy area that features a countertop dining space that faces a small kitchen where “homemakers” prepare meals to order.

“We don’t call them foodservice workers,” Ohanian says. “They have a variety of duties. Part of culture change means having more universal workers; they do cleaning of the dining area after meals, they assist residents when they need help, they even pass medications. They are very knowledgeable. The idea is that residents get to know the caregivers in their neighborhoods so that a level of trust is built up and caregivers can anticipate residents’ needs.”

Personal assistants for living help the homemakers by taking residents’ orders and bringing them their meals in courses.

The menu has been expanded to give residents more variety. The always available lunch and dinner menu operates on a four-week cycle, divided into two seasons—spring-summer and fall-winter. Each day features an appetizer special, two entrée specials and two vegetable/side specials. In addition, the menu offers a variety of sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, a fish of the day, a pasta of the day, a grilled chicken breast, and a variety of side dishes and desserts. 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

Menu Development
induction cooking nuts

Thanks to prolific fast casuals such as Chipotle, guests have come to expect a certain level of customization in their dining options. For almost 50% of Generation Zers, customization is a deciding factor when purchasing food, according Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report . Taking customization even further, operations are handing over even more control to customers with both build-your-own and cook-your-own stations.

Elder Hall’s My Kitchen station at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., offers a daily rotating ingredient bar with items such as stir-fry,...

Menu Development
health food medicine stethoscope

For the last two years, Chris Studtmann has jockeyed between Northwestern University’s residential dining halls and athletic training tables in his role of executive chef, trying to meet the health and food preferences of both sides. Now, his team is taking best practices developed for the sports teams to the 20,000-plus student population, working with dietitians from the school’s contract company to better sync healthy menu choices with lifestyle needs.

Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shows younger consumers are especially tuned in to functional foods that...

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

FSD Resources