20 Dec Partnership Promotes Healthy Eating for Fairhaven Residents
At Integrace, we look for ways to enhance our residents’ lives through innovative, mutually beneficial partnerships that bring new services and fresh perspectives to our campuses. Our partnership with the Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) is a perfect example—since 2017, several students in the University’s Integrative Nutrition program have spent time at our Fairhaven community to gain experience developing nutrition education programs for our resident population. On the flipside, our residents get a chance to learn the latest in healthy eating strategies while getting personalized assistance from highly engaged students.
Over the past few months, Caitlin Higgins, M.S., has been working on some exciting projects while she clocks the 1,000 hours of experience she needs to attain her Certified Nutrition Specialist credential. We recently caught up with her to find out what she’s been up to:
Q: What kinds of initiatives are you working on?
CH: “I’m working toward developing an integrated solution for nutrition support that focuses on prevention and delaying onset of neurocognitive impairments. It’s not a one-size fits-all approach—it’s very individualized and personalized for each resident’s specific needs, goals and preferences.”
Q: Can you share an example?
CH: “I’ve been providing guided educational grocery store shopping trips with residents to show them how to read ingredient labels and what to avoid and where to focus when it comes to food selection, as well as help them prepare the food in their homes and then do a nutrition follow-up to assess their progress.”
Q: What would you like the residents to take away from your teaching?
CH: “I’d like them to become more aware of what they are putting in their bodies, the quality of the foods they are eating and hopefully make them more mindful of how they’re feeling throughout the day and how that relates to what they’ve eaten. For example, if they feel tired, have more energy or less pain—all of that can be tied to what they are eating. I want them to know that healthy food choices can actually delay or slow the progression of conditions like diabetes and hypertension.”