elderly person laughs while enjoying a meal with others

Senior living dining services: easier, more accurate nutrition management

Mealtime is often the most welcomed part of the day in any senior care community, making it essential to provide a dining experience that’s focused on resident needs and preferences. But creating a more personalized and accurate dining experience for your residents can be challenging and time-consuming. MealTracker nutrition management software makes it easier to offer a wide variety of menu options while promoting a safer, more enjoyable senior living dining experience for every resident.

Improving the resident dining experience

Today’s residents in senior living dining want more choice when it comes to what they eat, while relying on meals that are relevant to their specific health needs. With MealTracker you can maintain detailed resident profiles to and accurately manage specific dietary needs and preferences for each resident.

Each profile tracks special diet information, including meal and menu item substitutions, portion preferences, and food likes and dislikes. MealTracker allows you to customize resident portions by category of food—fruit, vegetable, or dessert, for example—and the days of the week when they prefer specific food items or portions.

Staff can readily access this information to plan and produce meals that accurately reflect what residents prefer to eat while removing items they don’t like. This helps control food costs too, since staff can retrieve details on resident preferences and look at their production sheets to determine what foods people are eating and how much they need for the day’s menu.

MealTracker also “remembers” resident selections and reviews diet orders to make sure food preferences are being accommodated. With Smart Selections in MealTracker, whenever a diet changes, current orders are automatically adjusted to align with preferences recorded in the resident profile to ensure each resident’s dining satisfaction.

Meeting nutrition needs to ensure resident safety

Resident safety is a critical component of any nutrition management program, and MealTracker breaks down resident needs into very specific requirements for each meal, including the type of food (fruit, vegetable, etc.) and the consistency that food needs to be served—chopped or pureed, for example.

Also recorded in the resident profile are specific allergies and health conditions. To keep residents safe, MealTracker monitors resident menu selections and removes menu items (e.g., chocolate) that are incompatible with listed allergens. MealTracker also offers the ability to add food items that are “tolerable.” So, if a resident indicates an allergy to dairy but can tolerate ice cream, the technology allows residents to enjoy that food item.

Adaptive equipment is also a significant aspect of resident safety, and important to resident independence in the dining setting. Occupational therapists typically determine the best adaptive device based on the food being served, and MealTracker flags the need for adaptive devices by food item and category.

Another key element to maintaining resident safety in senior living dining are therapeutic diet orders. MealTracker supports you in serving diets your way, allowing you to customize each restriction to meet resident nutrient requirements.  With integrations from your electronic medical record, diet orders can drive resident accuracy regarding what is to be served.

Managing new IDDSI standard diets

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in partnership with IDDSI, launched new standard diets to improve the safety and care of individuals with dysphagia. IDDSI – International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative, is a global standardized framework that provides terminology and definitions for texture-modified foods and thickened liquids.  MealTracker can help you manage IDDSI diets and maintain accurate individual needs.

With our customizable diet mapping, you can easily rename diet terminology in MealTracker resident profiles to show the safest consistencies by food type for each resident, clearly distinguishing between food and liquid consistencies.

Making meal planning easier with the new menu library

MealTracker is a one-stop shop, offering free menus and more than 4,000 free recipes you can customize to meet your needs. Our newest library addition offers you the option to purchase region-specific menus that meet the cultural dietary needs and preferences of your residents. You’ll also have the option to work with a menu specialist to develop your own cost-effective menu that matches your price point.

Request a demo today to discover how MealTracker makes nutrition management easier and more effective while keeping residents safe and satisfied.

Request a demo today for a closer look at MatrixCare.

See what MatrixCare can do for you

Amy Wooton

Amy Wooton, RDN, is a registered dietitian licensed in the state of Florida with over 18 years of experience in clinical nutrition leadership for senior communities as well as acute care, food service management, nutrition informatics, and wellness education. Amy is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was appointed Vice Chair on the Interoperability and Standards Committee, and is the leader of the Academy’s Nutrition Care Process Workgroup. Amy most recently accepted a Leadership Award from the Florida Academy of Dietetics. She has achieved years of diversified experience in all spectrums and disease improvement and prevention throughout each lifespan. Amy is a dedicated leader and is passionate about the success of nutrition interventions as an electronic solution to healthcare crises.

Two office professionals looking at a laptop

See MatrixCare in action

Start by having a call with one of our experts to see our platform in action.