Senior dining program offers food for thought

By: Amanda Cuda

November 15, 2016

When dementia hits, it can steal not just the ability to make new memories or hang onto old ones; it can render the sufferer incapable of remembering how to do things most people take for granted — such as dressing, maintaining basic hygiene or even using dining utensils.

The last is particularly worrisome, as not recognizing or understanding utensils can lead people to refuse food, said Kristin Butler, executive director of the Watermark at 3030 Park, one of a national chain of retirement communities.

“Imagine not remembering how a fork, spoon and knife work and trying to eat spaghetti,” she said.

Hoping to combat the weight loss and malnutrition that can happen in these cases, the Bridgeport Watermark recently adopted the Thrive Dining program, which turns the meals on the facility’s menu into finger foods residents can eat in a few bites.