Meal Time Experience
When it comes to the meal time experience a good choice is top of the agenda. You will be pleased to know that the vast majority of the food is home cooked from scratch using fresh produce. My personal favourite are the roasts that we have twice a week. The homemade stews, meat or fish pies, cottage pies and fresh fish also go down very well! Kelly, our cook, does cake making three times a week, her homemade trifle and apple crumble are also popular.
WhereYou have many choices of where you eat your meals or snacks. Most either eat off a tray on their lap in front of the TV or at one of tables and chairs in 3 different locations. If the weather is good the back or front garden is also a good choice. You may also eat in your bedroom, this is particularly important at breakfast time for people who are diabetic to ensure they have enough energy prior to getting out of bed.
WhenYou are free to eat your meals when you choose starting with breakfast. Some of the people living at Wisteria get up early and enjoy a large cooked breakfast, for those who enjoy a good lie-in, the choice is cereals and toast with a cup of tea. Lunch is between 12.30pm and 1pm, but if you are enjoying a good film, have visitors or are just not hungry Kelly, our cook, will plate up your choice of meal and keep it for later. Our cooked evening supper is generally at 5pm. We also have a supper treat at about 8pm. Our kitchen is always open for drinks and snacks.
Meal ChoicesAt Wisteria House we are lucky to have our cook Kelly, she tries very hard to find out the meals you like and cook them. We always have at least two choices available, sometimes there are more. Kelly will arrange any soft food or separately liquidised food where appropriate. Kelly is also very good at noticing who is losing their taste buds through dementia. These individuals enjoy her home cooked curries, chilli con carne, etc and will cook extra strong flavoured food and store these ready to be brought out each day. She is also thoughtful and will make extra strong gravy, extra sweet rice pudding, etc. We also consider traditions when it comes to meal times, bread and butter on the table always goes down well. The cooks always look at the plates coming back after a meal and enquire who is not eating much and why and see if they can offer alternatives or compensate in other ways.
We try to keep our kitchen full of different choices. We do not believe in only offering healthy choices of food we also stock the unhealthy snacks. We, as a staff team, do not like to put on a hat which says ‘I know best’ and insist on people only eating healthy food, then eat a packet of crisps at break time and go down to the pub in evening for a drink! Each of us as individuals choose our own expectations of quality of life and we believe this should not cease when living with a dementia.
Choices are given in two separate ways, our cook knows who is able to verbally choose their main meal and remember their choice and she records their choice daily. For the other people whose dementia has progressed, the staff team will show two plated up meals for them to choose as the meals are being served. For the people who are unable to visually choose a meal, we keep records of meals which appeal to certain individuals. The staff team also notice and record if people prefer small amounts of plated meals or where soft food or liquidised food is more appropriate.
The cooks are also used to preparing vegetarian meals, Kelly has an excellent understanding of a good selection of meals for people who have diabetes.
The kitchen is kept open 24 hours a day, the night staff generally find something that appeals. We also have a snack table in one of the communal rooms, in which people are free to help themself to a biscuit, crisps, fruit, etc.
Recently we have noticed that some individuals enjoy a good takeaway, this is of course not a problem - if the individual finances are available the staff can easily order a delivery, I do not believe this is a reflection on our food, but just most people occasionally enjoy a good takeaway, I definitely know the feeling!