Leading Frost Manor’s strong dietary care team is ‘awesome,’ Neil MacDonald says
Frost Manor’s interim nutritional care manager says he might very well consider staying on permanently in long-term care because he’s enjoying the experience so much.
“I really enjoy people and I really enjoy being able to do something and immediately see the results, the positive effect. And that comes through with the residents,” says Neil MacDonald, who joined the Lindsay long-term care home in mid-February.
Residents are the best diners, he says. “Every service the dining room is full, they’re always going to be there, and they like to give you feedback. And I want to know if they didn’t like something so I can do it better the next time. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do the small things and impact someone’s life in a positive way.
“That’s something I’ve really learned from this long-term care experience,” MacDonald says.
He brings to Frost Manor past cooking experience at Peterborough’s Riverview Manor, another OMNI Health Care home, and in restaurants. He remembers working in a restaurant kitchen many years ago with two OMNI managers, including nutrition and food services operation manager Chris Weber, and marvels at how they’re all with the same organization again.
“When this opportunity came up, I was very excited,” MacDonald says, adding it’s “awesome” to be leading the team in Frost Manor’s kitchen.
“It’s a great experience, with great learning as far as a career is concerned, and it’s wonderful being able to impact people’s lives by making small adjustments.”
As a Type I diabetic, MacDonald understands the important link between nutrition and health. In long-term care, many dietary requirements have to be met to maintain residents’ health.
“I feel so many issues, especially being in this role in a long-term care home, can be solved through proper nutrition and good food. And residents, as I’ve seen, like their food more when it’s enjoyable, which is very important,” MacDonald says.
He appreciates the opportunity to cook, and to cook from scratch, which he was surprised to learn happens more than one might think. “OMNI is going in a positive direction in the food and nutrition sectors, just by cooking from scratch and getting back to the basics,” MacDonald says.
He is also grateful for the support of his team, whom he says demonstrates strong camaraderie and a willingness to try new things. For instance, they tried one of MacDonald’s dessert recipes for last month’s volunteer appreciation
“What was cool about that was, they did it and it was restaurant quality,” he says, adding it was a memorable team-building and learning experience.
“They’ve been very accepting of me and my style and everything. It’s cool for both of us.”
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