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Selecting an assisted living community in Highland Park, IL, involves several considerations, one of the most important being the dining programs and overall atmosphere. A community's approach to every meal can significantly impact residents' health, happiness, and quality of life.

In this blog, our senior living experts offer insights into assessing if a dining program is right for you or your loved one, ensuring you find a community that not only meets but exceeds expectations in terms of nutrition, taste, and dining experience.

Understand the Importance of Nutrition and Variety

The foundation of any excellent dining program is its commitment to nutrition. Balanced meals that cater to the diverse dietary needs of seniors are crucial for longevity and overall wellness long term. As you research communities local to Highland Park, IL,  look for a staff that includes registered dietitians. These professionals design meal plans that are both nutrient-packed and accommodate specific health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Variety is the spice of life, and this is especially true for dining in assisted living communities. An award-winning and robust dining program offers a wide range of options that change regularly, preventing mealtime monotony and ensuring residents look forward to each meal.

Assess the Dining Experience


A dining environment should always feel inviting, just like it would at home. Assisted living communities in Highland Park, IL that encourage residents to come together, connect, and enjoy chef-prepared culinary creations provides a pleasant setting where all are free to thrive. As you tour communities, ask to visit the dining area during meal times to get a sense of the atmosphere. Is it welcoming and comfortable? Does it promote social interaction among neighbors, loved ones and staff members?


Service style can vary significantly between communities, from a buffet layout to restaurant-style table service. Consider what type of dining experience will be most enjoyable and accessible for you or your loved one. Another important factor is the assisted services available during mealtimes. Will someone be nearby to provide help if needed in a discreet manner? This can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying the dining experience.

Special Dietary Accommodations

Dietary restrictions and preferences should always be seamlessly accommodated to each resident. Whether you require low-sodium, gluten-free, vegetarian, or kosher options, an ideal dining program of a Highland Park, IL, assisted living community should be able to adjust to these needs without compromising taste or nutritional value.

Engage with Current Residents

As you tour local assisted living communities, conversing with current residents can provide invaluable insights into the dining experience. Ask peers about the food quality, variety, and how well the community accommodates personal preferences and needs as they arise. Ask thoughtful questions about their journey to choosing this community. In the process, you might be surprised to make new friends along the way and feel even more confident in your decision.

Sample the Menu

Don't hesitate to ask if you can join for a meal when considering a Highland Park, IL, assisted living community. In fact, many top communities will include menu sampling to you and your loved ones as part of your initial tour. Trying the food firsthand is the best way to assess meal quality, portion sizes, and how well the dining service meets your expectations.

Flexibility and Snack Availability

Life doesn't always follow a strict schedule, and neither should dining in an assisted living community. Ask if there are set meal times or if there is flexibility based on a resident’s needs. Also, inquire about the availability of snacks, beverages or smaller meals between regular meal times.

The dining experience is a vital aspect of assisted living, directly influencing residents' nutrition, social life, and overall satisfaction. By thoroughly evaluating a community's dining options and overall atmosphere, you can ensure a more fulfilling and joyful living situation for yourself or your loved one in Highland Park, IL. It’s crucial to remember that food is more than sustenance; Delicious meals add fun and tons of flavor to every day.

At Arbor Terrace Highland Park, providing a premium senior living experience is more than a job to us - it’s everything we do. For more information on finding an assisted living community that meets every need, download our Evaluating Senior Living Options Checklist.


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The Arbor Company

About the Author: The Arbor Company

Through a commitment to developing an outstanding and tenured staff, The Arbor Company maintains a progressive clinical and competitive edge that embraces both resident and family needs.

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