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Carry-in menu mix-ups

March 17, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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Since the weather has been unpredictable, Activities has not been able to plan a resident lunch outing. So the residents wanted to order "fast food in" for Friday's lunch. I was asked to participate and gave Activities my order and money.

Since I have never been at one of these group order-ins, I wanted to see how it works. Since I do not eat the foods on the restaurant’s $1 menu (now $1.19), I ordered a salad with a variation and some chicken bites. The fast food place is a few blocks away, and it was not long before the Activities director and assistant arrived with large cardboard boxes. Then they began passing out the food.

A young male resident next to me said he gave Activities $6 and ordered three chicken sandwiches, fries ($1 menu) and a large soft drink. When he received his bag, it had two chicken sandwiches and a large drink. He wondered where the rest of his order was. I told him his large drink was probably $2.50 or more plus tax. He still emphasized he wished he had a receipt.

My salad came with southwestern (spicy) dressing, not the ranch dressing I requested. While my aide fed me my salad, the spiciness singed my mouth and I drank and drank water.

Another resident drank her large soft drink straight down. We wondered whether she would be sick later.

Even though a few orders were different from what we thought we ordered, the residents seemed happy with their fast food lunch. A female resident beside me, who was eating the regular facility lunch, said, "I am jealous of you eating that," which made me feel bad even though that resident’s family and friends do bring food in to her.

I enjoyed my lunch but felt uncomfortable eating order-in food in front of residents who for whatever reason did not order out with us. Perhaps the next time, those who order food in can eat earlier or later than residents eating the facility lunch. I think that would be better all around.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...