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Nursing homes give meal choices

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 10:29 a.m. CDT

From Lori Hays


I feel compelled to respond to the letter to the editor that was published in the Wednesday, April 10, newspaper titled "Food served at nursing home facilities" from Reta Sickels.

My dad had to make the difficult and painful decision in July 2010 to place my mom in a care facility because she was confined to a wheelchair and he was no longer able to care for her on his own.

She receives excellent care from the staff at the facility and the kitchen staff works long hours preparing wonderful meals for the residents. I believe the food Mrs. Sickels was referring to in her letter was actually Tater Tot casserole which contained green beans. Tater Tot casserole is a very tasty dish in my opinion and I know many families who eat the same thing.

She stated in her letter that the lunch looked like cat food. The majority of the residents are in their 80s and 90s. The ground beef should be ground very fine when it is cooked and there should be no big pieces of ground beef in the casserole as it is a choking hazard. Many of the residents need to have their meals ground or pureed in order to eat them because of that same reason.

She referred to the lady behind her that said, "I am not going to eat that sh*t." The residents have a choice of meals each and every day. The woman who made that statement would have chosen that meal for her lunch on that day. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Sickels has never witnessed that same woman walking up to the kitchen window and telling the staff what a wonderful meal she had. If she really disliked her meal that much, she should have requested a substitute. The kitchen staff definitely would have given her something different to eat.

I, along with many others, have eaten meals with our loved ones. The kitchen staff prepares meals that are both appealing to the eye and the taste buds.

It is unfortunate that Mrs. Sickels had to stand and watch her friend eat. The staff was probably moving in many different directions serving trays in the dining room, taking room trays, feeding the residents, filling drinks, assisting residents to the dining area for their meals and performing the numerous other duties that are required during meal time.

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