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Dining dilemmas

September 13, 2016
by Kathleen Mears
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In the summer, we residents have no turkey or stuffing. The noon meal is lighter, and we are served less pasta and potatoes. Sometimes, I wonder if some long-term care nutritionists’ or chefs’ recipes highlighted at a conference are being tried out on us. Other times, I wonder if scientists may be using nursing homes to implement dietary selections they feel could result in the improvement of our overall health.

But, at other times, I know things do not always go according to plan in dietary. Even though nobody announces when a food order gets messed up, I know it has to happen. A couple weeks ago, one day’s lunch was a ham salad sandwich and dinner featured ham loaf. That’s a lot of ham for one day! At least it wasn’t served for breakfast. I wondered if one cook had no idea what the other was doing that particular day.

Since ham salad is not a favorite, I asked for the lunch substitute. Unfortunately, I thought the chicken salad on two pieces of white bread, a few potato chips and dessert with fruit, including bananas and Cool Whip, was a bit light.

As I looked at lunch and even after I ate it, I knew I would be hungrier than usual later. It never ceases to amaze me that if I eat something I like for lunch I usually feel satisfied for several hours. But if we are served a meal I do not really care for, and I eat it just to fuel my body, I feel less satisfied.

That chicken salad lunch did not satisfy me, and by 4 p.m. I was hungry. I asked my aide to ask dietary if I could have a serving of supper's ham loaf for my post-supper snack. Less than one half hour later, my aide and told me there was not enough ham loaf for me to get a slice. I have to admit I was surprised.

I told my aide I was hungry and without the peanut butter I buy. I asked if I could have a pack of dietary's to eat for my snack. She told me for reasons she could not explain, there was no peanut butter on the snack cart to give me.  Curses, I thought to myself. Foiled again.

I ended up eating a protein bar, which did not sound good that evening, and a couple pieces of dried fruit that I know is good for me. In the end, I did not starve. But I was not able to get what sounded like something good to eat. 


Kathleen Mears

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