When four Afton Park Place residents approached Pauline Charlton earlier this year, asking if they could help the dietary team in the kitchen, the food services manager was only too happy to accommodate their wishes.
Pauline gave the group tasks to do throughout spring and summer, from slicing tomatoes and onions to husking corn cobs.
“They would hull strawberries and husk corn on Friday afternoons for me,” said Pauline. “They would cut leeks and peel potatoes and carrots for soup. They would ensure that they prepped enough product for all 128 residents at Afton.”
Recently, the four residents asked Pauline to extend their duties. She saw an opportunity for the residents to prepare sandwiches for the snack cart that tours the Sarnia long-term care community at 7 p.m. each evening.
Pauline sets up the cart for the residents in the family dining room and gives them the bread and fillings to make the sandwiches.
“I will check on them every hour to make sure things are running smooth,” Pauline says. “They ask me daily if they are needed to prep anything for the day. Their smiles and enthusiasm are contagious.”
Pauline says there is a two-pronged benefit to this activity: the residents are doing something they enjoy and the tasks they do are alleviating the dietary team’s workload.
“My chefs love that those four residents love to do food prep,” she says. “The chefs would have to do the prep themselves if those four residents didn’t.”
This story was provided to the Steeves & Rozema Group by Axiom News and originally appeared on the S&R Today website. Republished with permission.