Improve Your Nutrition in a Senior Living Community

We know that finding time and energy to prepare a meal three times per day every day can seem overwhelming. This can be especially true if you have recently engaged in a major life change, such as moving. 

If your move is to a senior living community, you likely have a full kitchen in your new unit and access to fabulous onsite restaurants, so you’re in luck – you’re set up for success. Managing your nutrition can be easy. We break down how to better understand your nutrition, the options you have in a senior living community, and how you can take hold of your nutrition today. 

Understanding Nutrition 

Good nutrition is important at any stage of life. But as you age, nutrition becomes more essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Older adults experience the highest risk for their nutrition negatively impacting health. Poor nutrition can result in weight loss, depression, and immune-compromising conditions.
Three key components to balanced nutrition are the intake of calories, protein, and vitamins. 

Caloric intake does change as you get older, but food group requirements don’t change much. Roughly 45 to 65% of calories should come from carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, whole grains, and complex carbs. The rich complex carbs provide sustainable energy, versus processed white flours and foods.
The last two key nutritional aspects are protein and vitamin intake. Proteins should comprise around 20% of caloric needs and vitamin deficiencies should be discussed with your doctor or nutritionist. Vitamin needs can range for every person depending on your body’s production levels, so check with your physician. 
With good nutrition and daily physical activity or exercise, you can gain the edge as an older adult to live a stronger and better lifestyle. For a more complete breakdown on nutrition requirements, read more here.

Three Pillars Dining Experiences

At Three Pillars we have several dining options to ensure all residents enjoy not only delicious meals that they enjoy, but the nutrition they need to thrive. 

Staying In
For those who enjoy preparing a home-cooked meal every once in a while, or even a quick breakfast at home without venturing out to one of our restaurants, all our independent and catered assisted living apartments and duplexes feature their own kitchen. Residents have the full gambit to prepare whatever meal sparks the imagination that day. 
There are several grocery stores located near our community for residents to do in-person shopping or order delivery on their own, and we also offer group shopping trips and grocery delivery services weekly. Additionally, basic grocery staples are available for sale in our own onsite convenience stores.
Preparing meals on your own is a great way to remain independent and host guests. The key is to be mindful you’re incorporating the nutritional balance that your body needs. 

Let’s Dine Out
On the flip side, when you live at a retirement community, you deserve to take a break and let someone else take care of the cooking and dishes! 

At Three Pillars’ independent and catered assisted living, two restaurants offer incredible chef-prepared cuisine. Both offer a menu full of variety and options, as well as rotating daily meal, soup, and dessert specials. The Fireside Café has fresh salads, toasty paninis, and savory soups in a casual cafe environment complete with a jukebox. The River’s Edge Restaurant is an upscale supper-club style environment with selections such as grilled steak, our famous Pillars burger, herbed salmon, vegetable lasagna, coconut shrimp, numerous sides, and much more.

Our catered living community and skilled nursing communities also feature multiple home-like dining rooms to ensure each resident can choose the atmosphere they enjoy most that is conveniently located to their apartment. At memory care, one dining room brings consistency and familiarity for this cozy environment. These dining rooms all offer delicious, chef-prepared, dietitian-monitored daily specials that keep variety and nutrition at top of mind.

Benefits of Senior Living Community Dining Options

There are numerous benefits to dining in the restaurants and dining rooms at your senior community.

1. You have access to a wide variety of nutritious meal selections. You won’t be bored with the same thing or eating leftovers, and you know that nutritional balance is already taken care of in any option you select. These meals are also available in a wide range of hours to ensure you can find what you’re hungry for at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

2. There is social value in sharing a meal with friends or fellow residents. Daily social interaction is important to maintaining a sharp mind and cognitive function. If anything, it’s a guaranteed way to get out of your apartment a few times per day. When it doesn’t work to come to a restaurant, meals can be phoned in for a takeout or room-service delivery order.

3. The menu planning and meal preparation is done by a certified chef and/or registered dietitian. They help ensure all the meals offered are nutritionally balanced AND taste delectable. Meals in most dining settings on campus are all-inclusive of several courses to make sure complete nutrition is met, while a la carte ordering is also available.  

Independence and Choice are Paramount

At the end of the day, we provide all our residents with great autonomy in their meal choices. The team at Three Pillars is here as a guide and resource, ensuring nutritional needs are met while personal preferences are honored. We value balance and collaboration. And don’t worry – at Three Pillars, ice cream socials and happy hours are part of that balance, too!

Senior Living Communities Improve Nutrition

Whether you are a lifelong expert in nutrition or have room to improve, senior living communities provide that layer of support so you have one less thing to worry about. Navigating changing dietary requirements as you age can be tricky. Having an interdisciplinary team keeping tabs on that for you provides countless health benefits and leaves you with more time to enjoy the things you love in your long and happy life. 

Elderly woman cleaning vegetables for cooking

“With that – go get yourself a meal, and bon appetit!”

We’re always open to new meal ideas and feedback. Have a recipe idea to share or a dining suggestion? Leave us a comment below!