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Ordering out

February 10, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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A few weeks ago a friend was supposed to take me out to lunch. But that day it was 7 degrees with high winds. I asked my friend if we could stay in and tackle my end of the year paperwork. She happily agreed because it was absolutely frigid outside.

Papers were stacked everywhere when our stomachs told us it was lunch time. My friend offered to go pick up food for us, but I hated to have her go out in the cold. I also knew that by the time she returned,  the food might be cold. So we "ordered out" knowing our food would be kept warm in an insulated container.

My friend went out to sit in her car and have a cigarette, thinking she would intercept the delivery guy before he got to the door. But because of the extreme cold, he was behind schedule. My friend was back in the building for a half an hour before our order was brought to my door.

After the delivery guy left, the social services nurse knocked and came into my room and said: "You cannot order out any day! You can only order out on Fridays!"

When she said order I got confused. I thought she was talking about ordering supplies (like incontinence briefs). Then she said, "When the delivery man comes here the other residents want "order out" food, too. Then, we have behaviors." She motioned toward my roommate, indicating that she, too, would want my food. I told the social services nurse that my roommate knew my friend and I were eating in because of the weather.

The social services nurse told me Fridays are "ordering out" day per facility policy. I knew that residents who have money do order out on Fridays. In the past, I ate lunch out at least a couple times a week. But many times I have had friends and family here and we have had food delivered here. No one had told me I was doing the wrong thing.

I have since talked with the assistant director of nursing and the social services nurse. They have assured me it is all right to order out as long as I let them know in advance so they can intercept the delivery guy. I have never flaunted "ordering out" in front of the other residents.

Interestingly, on Fridays near the end of the month many residents are out of money and, therefore, cannot "order out." But residents with money still do.


Kathleen Mears

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