Older adults choose the lifestyle in a retirement residence for many different reasons. Some want to live in a social atmosphere where it’s easy to meet and socialize with new friends, while others are looking for freedom from the responsibilities of home ownership. Many more count on convenient services, care options and 24/7 staff support and the peace of mind those valuable services bring.

These are all great motivations to choose retirement living, as is the dining experience in a senior living community. Let’s explore how the delicious, nutritious and varied meals that define Chartwell’s dining experience can make your life better:

Less expenditure of time and energy, more focus on enjoyment

Are you tired of spending time and energy on meal planning, shopping, cooking and clean-up? If so, you’re not alone, with many seniors finding this even more challenging during the pandemic.

Dining options at Chartwell remove all the work from mealtimes, allowing you to sit back and enjoy a tasty meal delivered hot to your table by friendly staff who get to know you and your unique preferences. And for those who still look forward to creating special meals or getting together with family, Chartwell residences offer private dining rooms that allow you to celebrate a meal with family or friends. Fully equipped “Country” or “Demonstration” kitchens are also perfect spots to prepare a treasured recipe for yourself or others, or invite grandchildren to come and bake cookies. No one ever has to feel that they’ve given up their home kitchen!

Well-balanced meals vs. a “tea and toast” diet

If you live alone, it can be difficult to consistently eat well. It’s easy to feel that it’s not worth the effort “just for me.” That can lead to a what many term a “tea and toast” diet, which can compromise your wellbeing.

At Chartwell, the nutritional benefits gained from eating fresh, well-balanced and interesting meals are an important perk. John Curtis, Chartwell Retirement Residence’s Director of Food and Beverage, often talks to residents to get their feedback, finding that many love the fact that residence meals are varied and reflect seasonal flavours: “Besides offering an interesting menu that reflects diverse tastes, we build our dining experience on a foundation of high-quality food, excellent food-safety protocols and warm, professional service,” Curtis says.

The all-important social factor

There’s no doubt that any meal tastes better with friends. Retirement residences place a significant emphasis on the meal experience, understanding that sitting down with friends in the dining room is an important part of the day.

It’s not just fun and rewarding: research shows that gathering with others for a delicious lunch or a relaxing drink and dinner in the dining room is actually good for you. Experts point to the fact that eating with others protects against social isolation, proven to be detrimental to mental health.*

Eating with others can also improve your physical health. Based on recent studies that show seniors who eat with others enjoy a more varied and nutritionally rich diet, Canada’s Food Guide now recommends dining with friends and family as much as possible. *

To learn more about Chartwell’s dining experience, visit our page on chartwell.com.


*The following sources provided references for this blog, in order of appearance:
1. The Hamilton Spectator. “Loneliness can be a big factor in getting good nutrition, senior health experts say.” (Jan. 27, 2019)
2. Canada’s Food Guide. “Healthy eating for seniors.” (Modified April 7, 2021)