Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This should not be happening

After wading through the election guff on Sunday, the paper had an article on old people and the food they're given in nursing homes.
None of the homes were named but $5.00 a day was a common amount allocated to feeding the residents 3 meals and due to a shortage of staff, some residents were malnourished because they're unable to feed themselves.
I'm not surprised at the shortage of staff, there is a big gap between what is paid in the public sector to the private sector where profit is the name of the game.

Fortunately Ma is not in one of those places. They have two chefs so meals are varied. At lunch time I've seen all the staff sitting quietly and feeding the oldies who can't do it themselves. As part of the activities, residents make slices and cakes for the afternoon teas two days a week.
One lunch last week was written on the menu board as rissoles which I suppose in some of those other places would be cheap greasy meat and tomato sauce and mashed potato out of a can.
Not this meal which was a large home made hamburger topped with bacon, pineapple slice and grilled cheese. The chips were oven baked but the vegetable were fresh and so was the gravy.
Dessert was a chocolate pudding with fresh cream.

Every nursing home should be like this and I don't care how small or big the organization is. We're all getting older and if we don't start putting rules in place now it's us that could be sitting in front of a plate of slop unable to pick up a spoon.

After getting all huffy about this, I walked into the dining room yesterday and checked the menu and was pleased to see a good meal but I was a bit worried about the dessert. "Bananna Mouse" did not sound appetizing. Danielle got ribbed all afternoon for her lousy spelling. She made up for it with marshmallow and chocolate slice for afternoon tea and my mother wouldn't share.


River said...

Every time I read another article about poorly performing nursing homes I get really p***ed off at our government. They don't care because they have their overly endowed pensions firmly set in place, so can afford the very best for themselves in their dotage. In my opinion these elderly people who once worked and paid the taxes that gave these buggers their generous allowances should be much better cared for. When I'm too old to be living on my own, I'll be fronting up at my K's house with my possessions. I know she'll be glad to have me because of my largeish book and dvd collection that we can watch together, along with her own dvd collection. Also because she likes to cook and I like to wash dishes.

River said...

P.S. $5 per day for three meals per person?
That sounds like soup, soup, soup, with an occasional spoonful of Deb Instant Mashed Potato.
Truly sad. Even sadder that there just isn't enough staff to ensure those who can't feed themselves get helped.

Jayne said...

Darls, it's more than the public vs private sector thing, it's the gap between the pay acute sector nurses get compared to those who work in aged care (which is sweet f.a), hence why there is a gazllion untrained staff in homes doing things I don't even want to think about.
An owner of a private nursing home told me that the only way to make a stonking great profit in that sector is to rip off the very people you're supposed to care for.
Problem is the fresh food is cheaper than the pricey processed crap but the staff are time-poor so can't prepare the fresh and rely on the crap.
It's been going on long before I did my training and it'll continue on long after I'm pushing up daisies cos govt depts ring to warn them of impending inspections and things don't always get inspected too closely in case they're forced to actually 'do something about it'.

Ann O'Dyne said...

in private rooms in private hospitals even people with Blue Ribbon health insurance can starve because meals are placed before them that their bandaged splinted arms cannot handle.

2. very elderly people who are free to choose their own diet, happily eat nutritionless rubbish. I know one who lives on nutrigrain's 54% sugar.

3. your mum is lucky to be in that lovely place.

Link said...

BF works as an AIN in an end of the line nursing home--the one for recalcitrant jewellery thieves, wife bashers, park bench drunks, decrepit drug and alcohol addled rockers and assorted crims, most of whom have been 'expelled' from nursing homes up market. Fun fun fun. He recently got a pay rise from $16 per hour to $18. (He could earn more packing shelves at Coles). It's really hard to imagine him giving suppositries . . . but he does and has been there for three years, so he must be doing something right. The food there sounds--(lowercase) ok. BF eats it, but that's not saying much.

Compare the situation he works in and the pay he gets to my sister (say) who picks up contract work with big pharma for $90 per hour. It's a completely nonsensical world we live in.

JahTeh said...

River, it's all about the bottom line of profit. My sister works at a public age care and gets a lot more money than private but the work is a young person's game.

Jayne, the food down there is terrific, they enjoy it and they get a choice. One lady has just come from the home that I was looking at for mum and she is blind. She said the smell of what she was supposed to eat was bad enough without seeing it.

Annie O, it's a small home, 30 beds with room for more so perhaps that's the way ahead instead of enormous homes that look good outside but are absolutely shit on the inside.

Link, the turnover at this place is minimal even with the lousy pay because it's a happy place to work in. How many places can say that.
Bf's sounds like the nursing home from hell.

Middle Child said...

NSW public hospitals spend on an average of $3 a day to feed very sick people! 75% of long term pateints are malnourished according to the garling inquiry - even the tube feeding for ICU is set at a "standard" level which provides little protein whereas private hospitals privide a higher quality of liquid feeds...Don developed malnutrition in the first weeks of fiver weeks till he died - not because he was tube fed but because the bastards in Parliament house have spent too much and this is an area where they can get away with cost cutting - its so widespread this malnutrition it is almost par for the course...so pleased your mum is fed well at least

JahTeh said...

Therese, it's usually the upper levels of hospital management who are getting the gravy with swish offices and shiny cars.