Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with key people at a local retirement community regarding Gluten issues. I was pleased at their responsiveness.

This meeting flowed from a previous meeting with my Mom and other residents who have Gluten issues and their General Manager. As part of their community offerings,  a ‘meal plan’ there provides meals for the residents. Currently it has been very challenging for those residents with Gluten issues to find meals they can eat there.
We were told in our first meeting that the residents can call the kitchen manager and make their personal requests known… even as frequently as daily. But for my Mom, who has only recently discerned that the years of health issues she has suffered from stem, in part, from issues with Gluten, isn’t sure what to request.

It would be wonderful if the staff were to fix at least one delicious Gluten Free meal each week and have all Gluten Free foods in the Bistro and Gluten Free meal options in the dining rooms identified as such.

As more and more people become aware of issues with Gluten, and more of the Baby Boomer generation head to retirement communities, these facilities need to be prepared to provide for their Gluten Free residents as they do any other.

This issue with Gluten is not going away. Especially as it gets more news coverage. I understand that Dr. Nancy Snyderman was heard mid- January, 2010 commenting on NBC’s Today Show that it is now commonly recognized that a high percentage of people in America today have issues with Gluten, many of which are undiagnosed.

With all the complications and side effects from prescription drugs that fill the PDR, I am glad that this health concern can be quite simple to treat! No drugs needed. Simply eliminate Gluten from the diet and the “problem” is solved.

Following yesterday’s meeting, it is our hope that the Chef and staff will be able to identify which ingredients and products they get from their supplier are Gluten Free (contractual agreements limit their choices at this time), and that they will be able to provide that info to the residents so residents can begin to make informed food choices. The plan is to meet monthly to help raise awareness among residents and to further communication on this issue.

If the goals discussed are achieved, this facility will certainly be making advancements toward improving the quality of life for their current residents and setting themselves ahead of their competition as future residents consider where they will choose to live in their “golden years”.