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The New Face of Senior Living Dining: From Formal to Casual

When you take a bite of an exquisitely-prepared, incredibly delicious, amazingly plated meal, have you ever thought: “Wow, this is great – like something you’d get at a senior living community?”

These days, that thought is closer to reality than you’d expect. Gone are pre-packaged fruit cups, watery instant potatoes and yellow gravy from a can. In its place, you’ll find locally sourced ingredients, cuisine options from around the world, made-from-scratch menu options and an atmosphere you’d expect to find in a fine dining establishment.

“In the past, the food experience at senior living communities may have been less than spectacular,” says Kristine Tilton, Executive Director of Waterstone at Wellesley. “But as the Baby Boomers have aged and demanded more from their living experiences, dining options at senior living communities have become revolutionized. In fact, at Waterstone at Wellesley, we tout our dining experience as one of our key points of difference.” 

What’s For Dinner, Then and Now

Back in the day, the meals that were served in senior living communities had one function, and that function was to provide nourishment to as many people as possible at a low cost and effort. That often meant creating food that was bland so as not to upset delicate stomachs. Ingredients were often overcooked in order to soften them (which made them easier to chew and swallow). And fresh foods? Forget about it – they were way too expensive and spoiled far too quickly. In short, senior living food was like school lunch version 2.0.

And then came the Baby Boomers. This generation doesn’t want a sit-back-and-relax retirement. They’re looking for active communities where they have everything they need to live independently and enjoy this next chapter of life to the fullest extent. As these movers and shakers started looking toward senior living for their parents and even themselves, they checked out what was being offered and decided there was a serious lack of quality. So, much as they protested and changed the course of society in their youth, they demanded a change in approach senior living communities take to everything from services and amenities to, yes, even dining. And senior living communities are rising to the challenge.

Today, dining at many senior living communities is a true experience. Kitchens are staffed with professional chefs and top-of-the-line staff, including nutritionists and dietitians alongside servers. Many communities have more than one dining option, offering both casual and formal venues to provide variety and convenience. If you have a dietary need or preference, whether gluten-free or vegetarian, you can have your meals tailored to your taste.

The dining experience doesn’t stop when you step out of the restaurant either. Communities like Waterstone at Wellesley often host community celebrations with food and entertainment for residents and guests alike. Some communities also offer catering services and experiences to their residents if they want to host a party for friends and family.

Overall, senior living communities are focusing on dining as a fine experience that’s meant to be enjoyed and savored. That means opportunities to catch up with friends at happy hour, or spending a special evening with friends in the formal dining venue. It means grabbing a quick bite at a bistro or simply strolling to grab a snack and a beverage in the afternoon. Most of all, it means choices – something that today’s seniors are, literally, eating up. 

Dining Experiences at Waterstone at Wellesley

As the premier senior living community in Wellesley, we take great pride in providing a lifestyle like none other for our residents. That includes culinary choices and experiences that rival what you’d find in a five-star restaurant. Our executive chef and food service director strive to make every meal a masterpiece, and continually find ways to redefine exception in the senior dining sphere.

Our kitchen is equipped with top-of-the-line equipment as well as a separate baking area. And, just like a fine dining restaurant, we have a demonstration space that’s viewable from the dining room, so residents can watch the finesse and skill of our chefs as they prepare a meal especially for them.

One thing you’ll never experience with Waterstone at Wellesley dining is boredom. The menu changes on a daily basis, pairing favorite standards with new offerings to please the palate and delight the senses. The menus evolve seasonally, as our executive chef pairs with organic food providers and local farms to deliver high quality, locally sourced and in-season offerings.

“The cuisine at Waterstone at Wellesley is a beautiful fusion of classic and contemporary,” says Tilton. “Our goal is to provide our residents with a variety of choices each and every day, from decadent and indulgent to health-conscious yet delicious. And, of course, what is a fine meal without a fine restaurant-style experience? Our dining rooms provide spectacular ambiance with crisp linens, fresh flowers, tableside service and so much more. Every meal at Waterstone is truly a special event, and we invite you to our table! 

For more information about dining services at Waterstone at Wellesley, or to learn more about how we provide distinctive and luxurious independent and assisted living options for seniors in Wellesley, MA, please contact us at 781.235.1614.

Beautiful Riverfront Community

Located on the banks of the Charles River, Waterstone is Wellesley’s only senior living community, offering premier independent and assisted living. But that’s only the first of many differences that sets Waterstone above and beyond other communities.

Celebrating Dynamic Living

Here our residents live independently in their own private, spacious apartments – but without any of the worries or concerns of homeownership or living alone. All meals are expertly prepared. There aren’t any chores to be concerned with. No home maintenance or repairs to worry about. Just opportunities around every corner and time to spend as they choose - in the company of new friends.

Our vibrant community encourages residents to engage in a variety of recreational, cultural and social programs and activities. Enjoy a fitness class. Swim in the sunny indoor pool. Take a stroll on a walking path. Partake in a favorite hobby or pastime. Discover a new interest. With Waterstone at Wellesley, there’s a world of opportunity waiting right outside our residents’ doors. 

Confidence of Care

The hallmark of Waterstone assisted living is the peace of mind we provide both our residents and their families. Knowing that care and support is available right on site instills a sense of confidence and calm one can’t find living alone.

For prospective residents or their families interested in residing at Waterstone at Wellesley, please contact us at 781.235.1614.