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Care home food

(59 Posts)
Bijou Wed 04-Jul-18 15:22:33

I am in a care home for rehab and I am surprised at the unhealthy food being served. Very stodgy. Little fresh veg, or fruit. Lots of steamed pudding and custard, no oily fish. All the things that have been banned from school dinners. Even semolina for afters which reminded me of when I was at school in the 30’0s.
I am healthy apart from pain caused by a small fracture at the base of the spine. Have always cooked m,y own food and eaten healthy.. can’t wait to get out and have va decent meal!

Luckygirl Wed 04-Jul-18 16:06:50

Itv all sounds yummy!!! grin

wildswan16 Wed 04-Jul-18 16:14:09

It is really sad that places where diet is so important to help the healing process, they seem to have no idea. I'm sure they are working to tight budgets but a little imagination would go a long way.

It is bad enough if you are only there for a few days or a week, but if you have a couple of months of it that must be awful.

Hope your recovery goes smoothly and you can get back to some home-cooking very soon. flowers

grannyactivist Wed 04-Jul-18 16:39:22

Bijou is there no feedback system?
In the Care Home I visit regularly I am always delighted if I am invited to stay for a meal as the food always looks delicious. The residents have a monthly meeting and meals are always on the agenda, but the residents only ever want to send their appreciation to the chef and her team. There is always cake (or yoghurt for some reason) on offer at afternoon tea time, but the meals themselves (a choice of two plus a vegetarian meal) are very well balanced and there is fresh fruit available at all times.

Bridgeit Wed 04-Jul-18 16:47:08

It seems to be One of the pitfalls of mass produced food. When a relative was hospitalised & needed to be careful of diet , they were still served the same un appetising stodge, true it did consist of meat & two veg,but that was all that could be said for it. It obviously is down to cost!

Menopaws Wed 04-Jul-18 16:50:55

At my work although the budgets are very tight, the menu has two mains for lunch each day or salad or sandwiches option and a pud, full cooked breakfast plus porridge and toast as required, cold meats and cakes for tea and most of our veg is grown in our gardens, roasts on weds and Sunday and menu tasting every quarter when the menu is changed for the season.
All our cakes are made in the kitchens and all dietary needs are given. Not saying is perfect but the food is designed to maintain weight and healing and give a choice within reason.
Yes we are lucky, no not all homes are good but I see no reason why, if managed well, other homes can't feed people well.

mcem Wed 04-Jul-18 17:15:22

This was my one criticism of my recent hospital stay. Food was unappetizing and very stodgy.
I'm working on cutting carbs so relied on family to bring suitable food but realise I 'm very lucky to have that option.
One very unwelcome side effect was constipation and they insisted I had to have laxatives. My point was that since I never have this problem I was sure it was due to the diet!
Home, eating as normal and absolutely fine!

Bijou I have missed your posts and it's good to see you again.
Wishing you a speedy and comfortable recovery.

sparkly1000 Wed 04-Jul-18 18:07:48

Constipation is rarely caused by diet. Main culprits are pain reliever drugs, especially opiate related and also lack of fluid intake.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Nanabilly Wed 04-Jul-18 19:40:25

A change of water can make me have constipation . Whenever I go to Scotland I get it really bad even if only for a weekend.

goldengirl Wed 04-Jul-18 19:44:49

My dad was in a fabulous small care home for a while where everything was home cooked - down to the biscuits. Pets were allowed too. It was a real home and dad thoroughly enjoyed being there and it was obvious that other residents did too. Then the council did an inspection and found the doorways did not meet the width standard and the owner manager had had enough of interference from previous visits and gave it up. We were all very sad needless to say. He was moved to a 'proper' much larger care home and died not long after.

JustALaugh Wed 04-Jul-18 19:46:35

But - do the residents like it? Elderly people usually like "stodgy" food such as puddings and cake. I have to say that when a person reaches a certain age/state, I think they've earned the right to have whatever they like. Many elderly people take Calcichew or some type of vitamin supplement.

I'm the Manager of a day centre for elderly people, and we provide a freshly-cooked lunch and dessert, but they only seem to want sausage and mash, pie and chips, fish and chips, and other types of comfort food (we ASK them what they would like each week). It's the same with raffle prizes - I was buying punnets of strawberries, bunches of bananas, even tins of fruit and soup. They complained and said they only want sweets and chocolate!

M0nica Wed 04-Jul-18 20:24:21

The food is the one thing that puts me in dread of ever going into care.

I have been responsible for two relatives in care and the quality of the cooking and preparation of food was excellent in both their care homes, but the range of foods was so limited. Just good steady middle-of- the-road Englishy cuisine, with the occasional very mild curry or spaghetti bolognaise. All the bread was factory made.

I love food. I am constantly trying new recipes, new combinations of foods, I am fussy about the origins of any meat I eat and I buy a lot of my food from farm shops. I just dread the restricted menus of a care home.

mcem Wed 04-Jul-18 22:13:42

It may be rare sparkly but I am sure that a stodgy carb-laden diet with no fresh fruit and veg contributed to the problem. Once home, same pain med's but decent healthy food and the problem disappeared!

OldMeg Wed 04-Jul-18 22:37:40

If it’s stodgy then it’s soft and easy to chew, so no need to mash it up for the older residents who have problem remembering to put their dentures in.

Witzend Thu 05-Jul-18 05:33:13

JustaLaugh, I quite agree that elderly people should be able to eat what they like. My mother's care home provided a lot of very well cooked 'traditional' food - because that was what most of them liked - and more importantly, would actually eat.

Though I did have a bit of an issue one day with one of the staff - the only one I never took to - who was offering my mother a choice of sandwiches - white or brown bread - and then told her when she chose white that she should have brown, 'because it's healthier'.

As I told the staff member - more politely than I'm putting it here! - at over 90 my mother was entitled to eat whatever the hell she liked.

travelsafar Thu 05-Jul-18 06:28:26

I also agree that if they want to 'eat cake' then let Older people in a care setting have very little to look forward to but their food, so let them eat what ever they prefer.

OldMeg Thu 05-Jul-18 06:36:00

Constipation is rarely caused by diet

Can’t believe someone actually posted that comment!

silverlining48 Thu 05-Jul-18 07:06:09

Sorry to hear you aren’t happy with the food bijou Is it worth asking for something a little more to your taste?
Good luck and hope you are back home soon.

mcem Thu 05-Jul-18 07:26:11

"Let them eat whatever they prefer" is the significant argument in bijou 's OP. Because the policy is to provide soft stodge, her requirements aren't being met and she's entitled to object!

sodapop Thu 05-Jul-18 08:34:59

I find it quite patronising to say that all of us elderly people prefer stodge.
I'm sure that like everyone we like a mixture of food, I wouldn't want salad every day but then I wouldn't want chips on a daily basis either.
I agree with you Witzend people are entitled to make their own choices even if we don't think they are the right ones.

Fennel Thu 05-Jul-18 08:51:49

Good to hear from you Bijou but sorry to hear about the meals.
Could you ask a friend or relative to bring in some fresh fruit or salad for you?
If that's allowed.

annodomini Thu 05-Jul-18 09:34:13

Once, when I had to stay over in hospital after the anaesthetic for a 'day care' procedure had made me sick, I was presented with what they claimed was cauliflower-pasta bake and I could not tell which was cauliflower and which was pasta. Not that it mattered, the whole thing was disgusting. That was the veggie option!

grannyactivist Thu 05-Jul-18 09:42:56

I'm smiling as I read some of these posts and thinking of the residents I work with. Many of them are forgetful and have dementia in some measure and there are always one or two who are not so agile or sharp of mind, but overall they are still the people they have always been; funny, sharp witted, caustic, kind, opinionated, shy, short, just like you and me. Perhaps the care home I visit is exceptional, though I doubt it, but I see residents treated with respect and receiving a service that is the best it could possibly be. None of the staff would be happy to serve inadequate food and most certainly the residents would not stand for it.
I understand and accept that hospitals are an entirely different matter.

Bijou Thu 05-Jul-18 11:48:19

The problem is that I have always prepared my own food right up to the day I went into hospital. Healthy food. Salads, fresh fruit. Oily fish. No fried food, sausages, sweet cakes., cream. Etc. I know a lot of older people like stodgy food and many people I know a lot younger than me suffer from diabetes and other complaints. My only problem has been osteoarthritis and lastly this anal cancer. The reason I am in this care home is the pain from slight fracture at the base of spine caused by radiotheraphy. They wait until I am in agony before giving relief instead of every four hours as prescribed by the hospital.
Sorry if you think I am a moaner but I know my own body.

Bijou Thu 05-Jul-18 11:58:00

P.S. the food in the hospital was very good. Healthy and plenty of choice.