Our Clinical Dietitians Support Healthy Outcomes for Seniors

Published on : 3/24/22
  • As we celebrate National Nutrition Month this March, we recognize the expertise of Sodexo’s 4,000 registered dietitians across the globe. At Sodexo Seniors, our tremendously talented dietitians support clinical outcomes in patients at more than 400 senior communities. 

    Nutrition and dietary requirements are built into our menu foundation for resident care management of chronic diseases and other health needs. A large percentage of seniors in the U.S. are at risk for malnutrition. Common issues such as depression, dementia, cancer and other diseases, as well as some medications, can lead to poor appetite and compromised nutrition. Our dietitians play a critical role in providing expertise in menu planning and nutrition screening, while training members of multidisciplinary teams to take care of residents. Many of our dietitians also have specialty certification in gerontological nutrition and dementia. 

    Below, two of our clinical dietitians with Sodexo Seniors share their insights on how they provide essential support to improve the quality of life for seniors in communities from coast-to-coast.

    Helping Seniors Make Healthy Decisions

    Janice Padilla is based in the long-term care unit at Waterman Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Orlando, Fla. She serves on a multidisciplinary team with nurses and rehabilitation therapists, meeting daily to discuss residents’ clinical needs. 

    Padilla spends about half her time in the clinical realm, and the other half focused on nutrition programming and services for residents in different levels of care. This involves working with the activities director and two Sodexo Seniors team members at Waterman Village, the chef and food service manager. 

    Being on-site full time allows me to integrate with the community and develop in-depth educational programs and interventions that can improve residents’ overall health, she says. We are always finding creative ways to improve the quality of our dining services so that seniors can make good decisions about their nutrition.

    Nutritious Food Can Lead to Improved Outcomes

    Phyllis Famularo is in her fourth decade with Sodexo Seniors’ senior/long-term care segment, where she helps lead nutrition services for the Northeast region. She says her exposure to the business of food, combined with an interest in nutrition, was sparked by her father, who was at one time president of the American Culinary Federation.

    While working as a clinical dietitian at CCRCs, she discovered a talent for collaborating with chefs to create food and nutrition demonstrations. I’ve been developing more and more of these over the years, she says. Now, other dietitians within Sodexo Seniors are carrying on the tradition at their CCRCs. 

    For Famularo, it’s all part of her mission to spread the word about how nutritious, delicious food can lead to better clinical outcomes and improved health. Most people want to live a long life with the shortest period of disability, she says. It’s exciting that clinical dietitians help them do that.

    Meet more of our dietitians. Learn more about how Sodexo Seniors can support your community’s clinical nutrition program at 833-977-1759.