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Our dining experience

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Our care homes offer an independent dining experience

Our dining promise

We support residents to make mealtime choices in a way that suits them best. Our teams show residents plated meals to support them to make choices, and if one-to-one support is needed, a colleague will sit with individuals to help them to eat at a comfortable pace.

Our food and dining experience

Dining with dignity

We always aim to deliver a high-quality, tailored dining experience, as part of our person-centred approach to care. Our hospitality expertise means we pay close attention to table presentation, ensuring cutlery, crockery and drinking vessels meet residents’ unique needs and that our table service is sensitively and safely delivered.

We support residents who are living with dementia, impaired vision or dexterity difficulties to enjoy an independent dining experience, using bespoke high-rimmed crockery, adapted cutlery and tablecloths in contrasting colours to enable residents to continue enjoying their food.

Noise and bustle are kept to a minimum during mealtimes to avoid any off-putting distractions. The goal is always for mealtimes to be relaxing. There’s often gentle music playing, and colleagues always sit and chat to residents and even eat with them. These are all proven ways to encourage residents to enjoy their meal and eat well.

Modified diets

At Care UK, we cater for different ways of eating. Those that have a soft food diet are given the same variety of options. During meal times, our catering teams deliver a modified version for those that have pureed diets. 

 

Ener is a talented Sous Chef at Bourley Grange with a wide experience from fine dining and five-star hotels. He always produces amazing food for residents and always attends to any food request, even if it is not in our menu. 

DarwinHead of Hospitality at Bourley Grange


Time to get together

How and where a resident is served their meal influences how much they enjoy it, and how much they eat. Dining is an important social occasion – a chance for friends and family to get together. Mealtimes are an opportunity to enhance residents’ health and wellbeing, not only through food and nutrition, but by catching up with friends, enjoying a shared routine and reminiscing about favourite foods, special meals and cooking for families. This is hugely beneficial to residents who are living with dementia.

Your loved one is welcome to dine in their own room, but we do encourage residents to eat together in our dining areas so they can make the most of this valuable social time. 

A tailored experience

Choice is at the heart of our dining experience. Residents are offered a selection of meals each day, and our chefs will happily cook up their favourite dish to make every meal meaningful.

Our teams get to know residents so well that they quickly spot if their appetite or dietary requirements change. They take an individual approach and give residents choice if their dining experience isn't working for them, from offering alternative menu options to suggesting a different time to eat to changing up the presentation of their food. Our nurses, carers and kitchen colleagues work together closely to ensure everyone’s preferences are met.

Remembering routines

Residents often play a part in preparing meals. This can include growing ingredients for meals, such as herbs, tomatoes and potatoes, in their home’s garden, peeling vegetables, laying the tables or tidying up. Residents are welcome to continue enjoying these familiar tasks if they wish. As well as being a great source of reminiscence such tasks promote independence and daily living skills

Getting involved with food-themed activities

Baking and cooking were important activities in many residents’ lives, so we offer regular opportunities to support residents to continue doing what they love. They even develop special creations alongside our chefs: our annual Care UK Christmas cake competition produces some truly amazing cakes. Things get pretty competitive!

We also hold special food-related events. In the Spring of 2024 Care UK launched it's very own cookbook called 'Recipes to remember' - created by residents. As part of the campaign homes invited local schools and community groups into the home to enjoy cooking masterclasses from the chefs themselves – the residents. 

Our chefs collaborate with lifestyle teams to create engaging dining experiences for residents, from regular barbecues in the warmer months to culinary travel with themed mealtimes.

 

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Manor Lodge who organised such a fantastic celebration for Mum's 100th birthday. Thanks to everyone for making Mum feel so special - we had a fantastic family occasion.

Daughter of a resident at Manor LodgeMarch 2024

Sharing our expertise

At Care UK we employ some of the leading figures in care home catering, both in our central Food and Hotel Services team, and in our individual homes. They continue to drive innovation in care home catering and the dining experience that residents enjoy.

Our people regularly share their knowledge through free information sessions, specialist recipe books that cater for people needing modified diets, and guides for family carers keen to support older loved ones with nutrition and hydration. These free guides include our Eating as we age guide