How to avoid misunderstandings when interviewing a Resident about their Dining Preferences

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule mandates improved care, safety, and consumer protections for long-term care facility residents, including ensuring that staff members have the right skill sets and competencies to provide person-centered care to residents. This final rule also states that care plans developed for residents will take into consideration their goals of care and preferences.  With this in mind, we would like to present a skit on what NOT to do when filling out a dining preference form with one of the residents in your care. When you have reviewed this satirical skit, you can download a free copy of our tip sheet on how to successfully interview a resident.

NARRATOR: Dietary staff member Desiree is filling out a dining preference form with Mrs. Fleming. She had a bad incident earlier that she can’t seem to stop thinking about and is barely listening to the elderly woman as she writes her answers on the form.

DESIREE: Do you like soup?

MRS. FLEMING: Yes, I do. I like it with my meals.

DESIREE (looking at her fingernails): I got it, Mrs. Fleming. You want soup with every meal.

MRS. FLEMING: Not every meal. Who wants soup for breakfast?

DESIREE: Right. So, no soup.

MRS. FLEMING, now aggravated: Yes, I want soup, but only with lunch and dinner!


MRS. FLEMING: Aren’t you listening?

DESIREE: To what?

MRS. FLEMING: To me!  You’re supposed to be helping me with my dining preferences.

Absurd?  Maybe.  But communication skills are critical when dealing with older people who may have diminished hearing or comprehension and may feel like they are being ignored. You can prevent this kind of miscommunication in your community by training your care providers to interview your residents using good listening skills and proper questioning.  Developing a relationship with your residents is the key to getting to the bottom of what’s important to them. And customer satisfaction is the key to good ratings.  That’s why we would like to offer you a free download of our Tip Sheet, How to Successfully Interview a Resident. This guide will help you and your staff members to get to know a person and what matters most to them. It gives you examples of how to open up an interview with a resident to get the best results.


Download your free tip sheet

About Gail Douglas

Gail joined BSN Solutions as a Regional Director in March of 2013. Her role is to promote the adoption of the new dining standards and person-centered dining throughout the communities serviced by BSN Solutions. She also recruits, coordinates placement of, and supports the dietitian consultants who work with BSN Solutions in its client communities. Gail has a vast 30+ year background in long-term care, having worked within skilled nursing and rehab centers in clinical and management capacities. She holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition.
This entry was posted in Communication and Problem Solving. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *