TRINITY, Fla. (May 5, 2015) – An innovative new dining program at local assisted living and memory care community The Watermark at Trinity is bringing joy back to meal time for residents with cognitive, neuromuscular and chewing disorders.
The program, Thrive Dining™, takes traditional meals such as beef stroganoff and chicken piccata and transforms them into handheld portions that can easily be eaten by people who may struggle at mealtime.
“For people with cognitive and neuro-muscular disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, mealtime can be a frustrating and difficult experience,” said Aileen Carlson, Executive Director of The Watermark at Trinity, opening this spring in Trinity. “As a result, weight loss, malnutrition and an overall decline in well-being can be a big problem.”
Many people living with these conditions are restricted to a “finger-food” diet because of their physical and cognitive limitations. Many struggle to chew and swallow, while others simply can’t use utensils like they once did. As a result, residents at other communities are often relegated to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fish sticks or chicken nuggets because that is what’s easiest for them to eat.
“The problem is this isn’t really a well-balanced, nutritious meal,” said Josh Marlowe, Executive Chef and Director of Dining Services at The Watermark at Trinity. “And after a few days of chicken nuggets, residents in these communities are looking for something different to eat.”
Thrive Dining, which was developed using the patent-pending Grind Dining™ process, grinds and prepares traditional foods in a unique way that retains their taste, texture and flavor. The result is a protein-packed meal in a handheld portion that has the same nutritional value as the traditional menu item.
On days where The Watermark at Trinity kitchen is serving stir-fry pork and vegetables, residents in the memory care program can eat the same thing – just packaged a little differently. As a result, residents can maintain their independence and dignity while dining, and avoid unintentional weight loss and malnutrition.
“The creators of Grind Dining have seen great success with this program,” said Carlson. “Research has shown that residents are eating more and actually enjoying it, which helps them to maintain their weight and overall health. It’s something that we are really excited to be offering at The Watermark at Trinity, because this is what our residents need.”
Watermark Retirement Communities is currently rolling out its Thrive Dining program at communities across the nation. From May 3 – 5 and May 9 – 11, the Trinity community will be the training site for Chefs and Dining Service Directors from six of the 38 locations.
About The Watermark at Trinity
Located in Trinity, Fla., The Watermark at Trinity is a 117-apartment assisted living and memory care community opening in the Pasco County suburb of Trinity in April 2016. Differentiators of the new community include certified staff, continuous care and hands-on educational programming. Owned and managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, The Watermark at Trinity is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive.
About Watermark Retirement Communities, Inc.
In 2015, the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) ranked Tucson-based Watermark Retirement Communities as the thirteenth largest senior housing operator in the U.S. Watermark’s commitment to creating extraordinary communities where people thrive dates back over 25 years to when it opened its first retirement community in 1987. A privately held company with a reputation of service, success, growth, integrity and financial stability, Watermark Retirement Communities manages 38 retirement communities coast to coast.