What began as just a dream for the team at Bupa Redwood in Rotorua is now a reality. All meals in the rest home are now served buffet style.
'We wanted to promote a homely environment, that will enable the residents to be involved in making choices about what they want and how much they want to eat,' says Care Home Manager Noku Sibanda.
With the support of Midlands Operations Manager Shaun Brown, the team at Bupa Redwood began purchasing chafing dishes until they had enough to start serving buffet meals.
All residents in the rest home who are able to, can help themselves to breakfast, lunch and dinner, and staff are always on hand to help anyone who needs it.
Noku says the decision to make the change came from a desire to give residents more independence and something to look forward to.
'So many times when residents come into care, their choices are lost, their independence is lost and they decline reasonably fast. We just want them to enjoy what they can,' she says.
Bupa Redwood resident Sue Blackley enjoys serving herself from the buffet
Rest home resident Sue Blackley enjoys having control at meal time. 'It’s lovely to select what we want to eat and the size of our meals,' she says.
The added bonus is that the food looks great in the chafing dishes, so there are never any issues with presentation.
Kitchen Supervisor Carole Stark is also pleased with how the new initiative is going. 'Residents are getting what they want and there is less wastage on food,' she says.
The new dining style has also impressed visitors to the home, with Lynne Luke from Alzheimers Rotorua visiting recently and commenting that, 'It was a delight to visit Redwood and see the residents serving their own lunch. It just goes to prove that these things can be done.'