Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service

When the weather changes I start thinking more about different recipes: stews, pies and braises. When we are younger, we take for granted being able to choose what we eat. I’m often left wondering what is the gelatinous brown blob sitting next to the mashed potatoes I see in nursing homes and hospitals.

I hear on daily basis how unappetizing the food is. This is not surprising given that the average daily food allowance is under $10.  Some places they only are afforded $4.92 a day!

Culturally Responsive?

This is especially difficult to swallow for people from different cultures. The majority of menus are not culturally responsive. Here in Calgary, the waitlist to get into one of the Chinese long term care homes is years long and to the Chinese, food is the most important part of the culture.

Food is such a central piece to so many other cultures as well yet it is given such short shrift when it comes to seniors’ care.

Not Enough Protein, Not Enough Water

Often, food is one of the greatest joys in the daily life of seniors. Is it any wonder when we discover that 96% of residents in long term care facilities are not getting enough protein and 50% are not getting enough vitamins and minerals?

Protein is critical in overcoming issues like heart failure, pressure ulcers and recovery from surgery to name a few conditions.

If seniors are not eating enough, they are probably not drinking enough either. Research also indicates that 90% of long term care residents are not drinking enough fluid. This is one of the most common causes of delirium in facilities.

Further, many but not all facilities are finding their staff rushed to get their residents fed on time. This puts these residents at risk for aspirating, food going down the wrong tube, and getting pneumonia.

Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service
Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service

Joy of Cooking

Quality of food is often overlooked when considering where the elderly should live. The whole process of going to the grocery store, preparing food and cooking can play a big part in a person’s identity. Being involved in that process gives a lot of meaning to people and should not be under estimated. Living in their own home, people can eat foods they are familiar with, when they want to eat and not feel rushed. The food is served hot and immediately. All of these factors can go a long way in making someone’s day more enjoyable. All of our caregivers have their food safety certificates and would be happy to assist with meal prep. Send us an email or call us to find out more.

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