Gracious dining helps residents feel at home

The residents feel like they just walked into a restaurant.

Dining Services Director Ruth Haile has nearly seen it all when it comes to food service. “I started working in food service when I was just 14. I worked part-time under my mother, who was the dietary manager at Elm Haven East. I did that until I was 19 and after graduation started working full time. I was 23 when I went to the Coffeyville vo-tech school to earn my dietary manager’s certificate. I took over as dietary manager at Elm Haven East in 1999 when my mother retired. I then took the certified dietary manager’s test in Kansas City in 2007,” said Ruth. While she’s had a wide variety of experiences, Ruth’s very favorite thing about her job is making a personal connection with residents. “They get to know me by my first name, and I love that!” One way Ruth and her team are able to connect so well with residents is by providing a welcoming place to enjoy their meals. “We offer a more restaurant-style atmosphere when it comes to meals and dining. Our residents get to choose off of a menu, just like the ones you and I would get in a restaurant. If they do not like the special we are having for that meal, this menu is available to them 24/7,” said Ruth. “Our residents also get to decide what time they would like to eat. Gracious dining is about making the resident the customer and treating them like they just walked into your restaurant.”