Nourishing Our Residents: Maurice Mills, The Dietary Director at Heather Glen Senior Living

Nourishing Our Residents: Maurice Mills, The Dietary Director at Heather Glen Senior Living

Headshot of Heather Glen Senior Living's Dietary Director Maurice Mills.

November 28, 2023

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we make it our mission to offer premier personal care and memory care services, fostering an environment of passion and support for seniors and their loved ones within the greater Lehigh Valley area. At the heart of this mission lies our dedicated staff, including Maurice Mills—the culinary maestro and Dietary Director who has been crafting delightful dining experiences for the past two years. Read below as we delve into Maurice's journey and discover his unwavering commitment to ensuring the well-being and happiness of the seniors under his culinary care.

About Maurice Mills: His Path to Heather Glen Senior Living

As someone who’s always had a passion for the culinary arts, Maurice Mills first embarked on his journey as a dishwasher in 2005, evolving into a full-time cook just two years later. His trajectory reached new heights in 2016 when he assumed the role of Dining Director at a senior living community. Reflecting on his journey, Maurice shares, “I've always loved working with seniors, and for most of my career, it has been in an assisted living community.” With Heather Glen Senior Living, he found the perfect place to let his passions truly shine. His love for creating meaningful connections with seniors has been the driving force behind his dedicated service—and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him as an integral part of our team.

His Day-to-Day: Crafting Culinary Delights for Seniors

Maurice's daily routine revolves around crafting not just meals—but experiences that resonate with the residents. “In my role as the Dietary Director at Heather Glen Senior Living, I love getting their honest feedback on the different meals,” Maurice expresses. He takes joy in implementing new dishes and fresh menu options, recognizing that mealtimes are cherished moments for the residents. “Seeing a resident stop me to tell me that they loved the meal from that day really makes me feel good,” Maurice adds, underlining the personal touch he brings to every dining experience.

Combining Senior Care With Culinary Delights

Despite the challenges that come with dietary restrictions and special meal requirements that many seniors face, Maurice always keeps an optimistic attitude when it comes to meal customizations and schedules. “There are so many different and unique diets out there—but we want even those with restricted diets to have a meal they can enjoy,” Maurice explains. “So it’s about finding that balance, knowing what works for these special diets and coming up with a game plan to make sure every single resident gets something they can enjoy.” 

One way or another, he figures out a way to turn dietary challenges into culinary triumphs—ensuring that each resident receives a meal that not only aligns with their nutritional needs, but also satisfies their taste buds. “I’m always looking for fresh ideas and new meals the residents can enjoy, and most times, it’s a tweak to a dish that’s similar on the menu. Believe it or not, these residents LOVE to eat,” Maurice says. “It’s about really doing the homework and putting the time in to switch things up, create new meals and bring in different flavors that are good for them as a whole and actually taste good.”

More Than a Dining Experience

To Maurice, the dining experience goes far beyond just serving delicious meals. “We try to meet and greet them with a smile right off the bat. From there, just treating them with the utmost respect and maintaining good service throughout their meal makes them feel good and makes the dining experience that much better. It also helps to have good food on the menu, too,” Maurice shares. For him and his team, it's about fostering a social and enjoyable atmosphere, where the residents not only savor the flavors—but also relish the entire dining experience.

The little things really do matter—I had one resident who could only eat certain foods, and in a group setting, it can be difficult (but not impossible) to cater to a resident’s needs. It’s about knowing what works and what can be done to make sure that resident is getting the nutrition they need. So as a team, we began to make sure this resident had their food set aside, but made similar to what was being served for the other residents,” Maurice explains. “It became second nature that we made sure we had this resident’s food ready. In return, this resident was so thankful that we were able to cater to their needs—and that really made me happy. So it’s about being aware, caring and just knowing what to do and how to prepare a meal so that every resident is satisfied.”

It Takes the Entire Team

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we believe in the importance of collaboration for the overall health and well-being of our residents—and Maurice is proof that this harmonious relationship exists amongst our entire staff. “Communication plays a big role here, so it’s up to everyone coming together and sharing that vital information. Every one of us—from dining to housekeeping—are caregivers in one way or another. We see things at dining time that others don’t see, so we have to be diligent at all times. That’s when we can let the nurses or care staff know that maybe there needs to be a change in diet, or a resident isn’t eating as much as they used to. It’s truly a group effort by all of us,” Maurice expresses. 

It has really been a pleasure serving my residents and I truly make it my goal to make sure they are happy and satisfied. But, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of the staff and people around me,” Maurice shares. “It truly takes everyone involved to make the dining experience one the residents really like. So thank you all for the support and drive to keep striving and wanting to do more.” His gratitude reflects not only his personal dedication—but also underscores the symbiotic relationship among our staff. Maurice recognizes that the success of the dining experience—and by extension, the overall well-being of the residents—is a result of the collective support, commitment and shared vision of the entire team.

Experience the Heather Glen Senior Living Difference

Maurice Mills, with his culinary prowess and heartfelt dedication, stands as a linchpin in the nurturing, compassionate environment of Heather Glen Senior Living. As he reflects on his journey, his crucial role in our community and the collaborative effort of the entire team, one thing becomes clear—his commitment goes far beyond providing top-quality meals for our valued residents, which is exactly why the Heather Glen Senior Living dining experience is a true embodiment of personalized care, community connection and culinary excellence. If you’d like to learn more about the Heather Glen Senior Living mission, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (610) 841-4478 or fill out our online form today.  

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