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Response to nursing home food service letter

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:45 a.m. CDT

From Bill Robinson


This is written in response to a letter to the editor that was published in this newspaper on Wednesday, April 10 concerning meal service in an unnamed care facility, presumably in our area.

All too often people with an agenda attack those who are the least able to defend themselves and so I hope to set the record straight – at least for most of you.

Food service in any health-care facility is inspected by what seems to be an endless parade of organizations who directly monitor food service. The names of most of these organizations, ranging from government regulatory agencies to concerned citizen groups, made up of folks just like you and me, are posted in a conspicuous area in each facility, readily available to anyone who cares or takes the time to look.

Hospitals and nursing facilities are caring for increasingly diverse patient population with acute dietary needs. Each patient's diet is prescribed by a physician and developed and monitored by a licensed dietitian who is in direct contact with the patient and/or their loved ones regularly.

A tremendous disservice has been inflicted by a thoughtless writer on people who dedicate their lives to making sure that our most precious resource, "The Greatest Generation" is cared for in a respectful manner.

So, did the writer think to ask someone about the specific diet that was served? Trust me, puree diets are not always the most appealing looking. However, puree diets and those like them are important to folks with issues of mastication and swallowing. Was anyone in the dietary or nursing departments consulted? How about the administration of the facility, were they contacted?

For many years, I served the residents and staff of Creston Nursing and Rehab Center. In those years we utilized Ginny Lents, a dietitian from Greater Regional Medical Center. Joni Taylor R.D.L.D. coordinates dietary services for them currently. She is an important, active and professional person in the operations of the facility.

Joni has played a very important role in my life as well, making some important recommendations at critical moments in my recovery from a serious illness. I am eternally grateful for her care and expertise.

Licensed dietitians are an integral part of every long-term care facility's operation, and we are so fortunate to have dietitians in the Creston area who are the best in their field.

Sandy Rooker is the finest, and most dedicated dietary services manager around, period. She dedicates her life to assuring that the people at Creston Nursing and Rehab Center are satisfied with their dietary regimen. It's no easy task. She is first rate, a class act, and if there was a question or concern she would move heaven and earth to set it right. I know that to be a fact.

Baseless charges with sensational claims do nothing to better the lives of those in need. People who live in long-term settings in our area are being served by great folks who truly have the best interest of those they care for at heart. Next time consult them first.

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