Eating better – even in old Age

Residents and caregivers eating in the dining room
Photo: C. Fischer

It is not only in day cares and schools, at universities or in hospitals that communal meals play an important role: It is also important to provide older people in residential facilities with fresh and balanced meals. The Aja Textor-Goethe senior residence in Frankfurt am Main has been breaking new ground in this area for some time.

The kitchen team of the anthroposophic-oriented residential and nursing home for the elderly in the north of Frankfurt cooks fresh meals every day in its own certified organic “dining room” on the ground floor. Guests can also make a reservation to dine in the restaurant, and the “Melissa” outpatient care service delivers “meals on wheels” to homes at lunchtime on order. Many ingredients come from the Demeter farms Dottenfelderhof and Luisenhof in nearby Bad Vilbel. Another supplier is the biodynamic and organic farm of the addiction support facility “Die Fleckenbühler” near Marburg.

The people in charge of the Aja senior residence focus on plant-based wholefood nutrition with little or no meat, which they see as anything but a short-lived trend. According to the website: “It is a necessity, especially for the ecological balance of our planet as well as the living conditions of present and future generations.” This sustainable organic concept was awarded “Best Measure of the Year 2020” by ÖKOPROFIT in 2020 among 40 participating companies and organisations. But the concept also benefits the residents’ health – after all, a balanced diet is one of the most important factors for preventive healthcare and it strengthens the immune system.

Another aspect is the menus’ intercultural nature, which takes into account the different life experiences of today’s residents, which include people who protested in 1968 as well as the first generation of immigrants who want to remain true to their culinary preferences even in old age. “Our teams and our residents are becoming more international in their eating habits, and more religious/cultural aspects need to be taken into account”, write the managers. “A selection of tasty plant-based meals made from eclectic recipes is the way to go here.”