Residents’ Top 5 Complaints About Nursing Homes: #2

Complaint #2: The Food

Where is the Emeril of nursing home food? It’s time to kick things up a notch. There’s a huge opportunity for improvement in the quality, number of choices, and presentation of the food in nursing homes, and to affect the satisfaction of the residents with their meals.

A good start is to increase the food rotation schedule to at least a four week rotation. Residents also appreciate having their hot food hot and their cold food cold. Restaurant-style service, where residents are offered options while sitting at their table, is as popular as the flowers decorating said tables.

I’ve heard of facilities stimulating appetites by filling the dining rooms with the aroma of fresh-baked bread. What other meal-enhancing ideas are out there?

[Second post in a biweekly series. Here is Post #1]

5 thoughts on “Residents’ Top 5 Complaints About Nursing Homes: #2”

  1. Dr. El,

    We regularly have an amazing pianist give a mealtime performance. I don't know if this stimulates anyone's appetite, but it sure makes for a more pleasant dining experience!

    I think just about everywhere I've worked in the past 25 years, all would benefit in at least some improvements. In defense of food service, however, I have been at the same meeting where some people complain that the vegetables are both under and overcooked, soups that are either too salty or not salty enough etc. In other words it can be a challenge to please everyone.

    A friend of mine learned at an aromatherapy seminar that cinnamon is an appetite stimulant.

  2. One of the common elements in the culture change environments is letting residents play a role in the preparation of their meals if they choose. I recently had a conversation with an activities professional who said their Jewish residents complained regularly about their preparation of Matzo soup. Here we have the opportunity to let the residents share their family recipes, expertise, etc. In general I feel alot of our complaints revolve around not having control. Isnt it a sad that we reach an age of wisdom and people start telling us you "cant go in the kitchen" or "we cant let you do that".

  3. Sue, a dinner concert is a lovely idea! I agree, it's very hard to please everyone when it comes to food, as I know from my table-waiting days, but there is definitely room for improvement.

    Steve, that's a great idea to have the residents contribute recipes! Nursing homes could have so much fun with that, having a cook-off, or a recipe of the month, with a story featured in the facility newsletter.


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