There are many factors that contribute to good nutrition and the total well being of seniors in their life journey while residing in senior living. This holds true for all types of long term care residences they may choose.
Food is one need we all have in common and meal satisfaction is of great importance to all of us. We should ask ourselves, “What is one element that may enhance this area of client care?” Speaking from experience, I feel a qualified Nutrition Manager plays a key role in enhancing food and its presentation to seniors for which we care. A trained qualified Nutrition Manager has knowledge and skills in coordinating and managing operations of the Food and Nutrition services department. This expertise enables resident to enjoy high quality, safe, nutritious meals and nourishments to support clients in maintaining good health.
The qualified Nutrition Manager is trained to guide their team of food service workers to ensure optimal nutritional care for their clients. They will optimize the dining experience for their clients by promoting a home-like atmosphere in the dining room, promote the opportunity for client choice, promote the opportunities for client socialization while dining, promote family participation and provide a client-centred menu in their establishment.
A qualified Nutrition Manager will operate in an efficient and cost effective manner.
They will also continually review and upgrade the physical facility and equipment within the department to ensure a progressive and safe work environment.
A qualified Nutrition Manager will also be active in to their professional organization – Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM) and their provincial chapter - for networking and keeping up to date with their education in this fast-paced society. CSNM sets a high level of competencies to ensure members achieve excellence in the following categories of skills, knowledge and professionalism.
The core competencies are as follows:
- Quality Management
- Nutrition and Healthy Living
- Clinical Nutrition
- Food Service Systems Management
- Human Resources Management
- Financial and Business management
- Marketing and promotion.
The above competencies are expected of all graduates from an approved or accredited Nutrition manager education program. With additional experience and continuing education, additional responsibilities can be assumed requiring higher levels of competence.