Dining Trends in Assisted Living Are Changing

July 14th, 2016 by John Wilson

There are a number of factors driving the wave of positive changes in dining trends seen in senior housing settings in recent years. Some of the dietary changes seen in assisted living communities in OKC are directly connected to a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between diet and health. Other shifts in dining trends have been influenced by a changing senior culture. Visit an assisted living center in Oklahoma City and you’ll see seniors are living longer and more active, interested lives.

Real Food for Real Health

There’s a connection between processed foods and poor health. Diet quality produces a measurable effect, not just on physical health and well-being, but also on mental health. The science is there. Study after study and years of clinical research demonstrate clearly a nutrient rich diet based on whole foods offers protection against a vast array of diseases and health conditions, including those that classically head the top causes of death lists. Nutritional supplements, while they do have a role in health care, just aren’t the same as getting nutrients from food.

Adoption of more health conscious, whole food oriented dining trends gives Oklahoma assisted living a major senior housing advantage over independent living for many elderly people. For a senior with health or mobility issues, food preparation can be a challenge, leading many to rely on convenience foods that do little to protect or improve health. Often, seniors find it much easier to eat a healthy daily diet when living in an assisted living center in Oklahoma City because the burdens of daily food preparation are lifted.

Seniors can enjoy healthy meals in assisted living communities.

Assisted living communities encourage healthy eating.

Shifts in Food Culture

Changes in Oklahoma assisted living dining are not only driven by health. Demographic changes have had a strong influence on food culture nationally, as well as within senior culture. As the nation becomes more ethnically diverse, so too do the foods people eat and enjoy. Another driving factor in the changing dining experiences found in assisted living communities in OKC has to do with the wave of retiring Baby Boomers.

By sheer size alone, this generation has driven social and cultural changes right from the start. More health conscious eating has long been important to a segment of this generation. Another element associated with this generation is a more upscale lifestyle. This generation was born into a period of relative prosperity, something that has impacted demands and expectations for many. Bland, processed food based institutional cuisine just won’t do.

It’s Not Just Eating

When it comes to healthy dining, it’s not just eating. The trend away from cafeteria dining styles to table service offers a more restaurant-like sort of experience, making for a more pleasurable experience. The companionship of dining with friends in Oklahoma assisted living, instead of alone on the couch with a TV tray, has been found to improve appetite. The social connections themselves are a vital part of mental, emotional and physical health so settings that encourage their development are important to senior health. Contact us to learn more about current Oklahoma assisted living dining trends.

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