While still in neighborhoods, the Dining Action Team at Passavant Retirement Community has been getting residents and families involved in making improvements in dining. By creating action teams with members from throughout the organization, a community begins crossing traditional barriers of functions, authority, and decision-making. Each action team works together to create new resident-directed practices and establish an environment of high involvement. (You can learn more about how action teams work in LaVrene Norton’s chapter “Future Pull – Understanding the Culture in Culture Change,” in the new book Culture Change in Elder Care.)
Passavant’s Dining Action Team has been doing just this. They’ve been distributing flyers with updates on new services offered and requests for input. The team has worked hard to get people involved and excited about enhanced dining opportunities. In that spirit, we offer a story by Maria Foxall, Dining Service Manager at Passavant Retirement Community, highlighting one of their initiatives:
Our Dining Action Team has been working hard to provide 24/7 dining opportunities. One way we’ve done that was by creating snack stations in every neighborhood offering coffee, hot water for tea, fresh fruit, juice, chips and baked goods. One of the neighborhoods, Woodland Paths, involved all the residents in creating their snack station. The residents asked maintenance to build them a cart, which they gladly did. The daughter of the maintenance staff member who built the snack station painted flowers on it. Now that the residents had their cart, they wanted to give their snack station a name. They decided to have a competition. Residents put in suggestions for a name, and they all voted on which was best. The resident who got the most votes would be rewarded with a dinner of their choice cooked on the floor by the Executive Chef. The contest ended in a tie between “Snack ’n Go” and “Refreshment Corner.” The residents decided to combine the names and their refreshment cart is now called “The Snack ‘n Go Refreshment Corner.”
With the cart built and named, it was time to celebrate. We invited the residents, family members and staff to come for a ribbon cutting ceremony. We served cheese, wine and champagne. Every resident, even the residents who rarely leave their rooms, came out and celebrated. It was truly a wonderful moment.