I am a dietitian at an cancer treatment center who has worked inpatient as well, and I often feel sorry for the majority of patients coming from a nursing home. Of course, my career is focused on food, and this is a HUGE quality of life thing when it's the only thing the person has to 'look forward to'.
I have a wheelchair-bound patient coming to my cancer center who was begging me to call her nursing home and talk to them about her "diet". She is from India, does not eat pork and is diabetic (as well as suffering from chemo-related issues). She has no family.
She claims they serve her vegetables straight from the can, cold, directly on her plate with no spices or flavors, or "fruit cocktails" packed in syrup. She says the food is inedible.
When I called the facility, I asked to speak to a dietitian. The nursing home staff member said the dietitian only comes once per month. They did not provide her contact information. The "food service director" told me the patient was placed on a no added salt diet, so they refused to give her "salt or pepper". When I asked why she could not have pepper, they did not have an answer. When I asked why the food was served cold, she told me the patient could request the nurse to microwave the food. When I asked if there are alternative options in the menu, she said the patient could choose from items including "Bologna sandwich". Which I was flabbergasted by, since she does not eat pork and is on a "no added salt diet". I must mention every other option was a cold food item, such as cottage cheese, salad, or tuna sandwich. This leads me to believe they do not serve any hot meals whatsoever.
It is clear that quality of life and basic enjoyment is not a priority at this, or many, LTC facilities. It's all about providing the bare minimum, cheapest treatment including sub-par, worse than prison quality food. I wouldn't feed it to my dog. I wouldn't eat it. Would you?
How can this poor woman, used to flavorful Indian cuisine, get through cancer treatment being served cold canned green beans and bologna sandwiches for dinner? It's a travesty, and it's mostly because the hospital/nursing home management are cheap bastards that want to line their own pockets.
All the while, the website advertises how they have a dietitian overseeing everything on the menu. Directly from their website:
"Maintaining adequate nutrition is imperative at every stage of life. Under the guidance of our Registered Dietitian, we at
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