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How can I improve the nutrition in my mother's meals at her

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How can I improve the nutrition in my mother's meals at her

Postby katherinejones » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:33 pm

My mom, who is very independent, lives in an independent living retirement facility that also has graduated care. Her rent includes two meals per day. The "specials", which are supposedly set up to meet state nutrition guidelines because they are served to the assisted residents also, do not seem to meet a highly nutritious balance. I take her shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables and skim milk because her dining room does not provide highly nutritious dark and brightly colored vegetables, fruit more than twice a week and no skim milk (this is just one example). Is there a senior food pyramid guide I can look at and how do I share this with the nutritionist and head chef at her one year old upscale senior living community?

I have put the same question in How can I improve the nutrition in my mother's meals at her living center? But I would to receive as many expert advises as possible.

Please suggest.

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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:27 pm

Re: How can I improve the nutrition in my mother's meals at her

Postby Karnak » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:23 am

I worked in retirement for a few years and while not my area of expertise I have some knowledge of it.

Facilities are supposed to to meet the dietary requirements but when it comes to seniors unfortuantely a lot of the pressure to conform is non existent due to the lack of industry regulation. Perhaps talk to the DON (Director of Nursing) they tend to be a step removed from the whole bean counter / cost issues and tend to be heavily focused on the needs to the residents rather than facility. If she tells you its out of her hands - perhaps ask her what the best way you can escalate it and ask for names etc. if its a retirement facility there will be a residents association and you can always go to them.

Just a few tips and tricks I picked up that may or not assist you with your Mum :

* You mention fruit and vegetables - however the biggest issue we found was getting protein down the residents.
* Unless your Mum is carrying extra weight look at getting highly nutritious snacks like meal replacement biscuits. As a lot of people age they tend to stop eating or even forget to eat - you can get highly nutritious meal replacement biscuits that we used to pop into the biscuit jar to help with this.
* While things like fruit cups and packaged fruit seems like a good idea, a lot of them are hard for older hands to open so keep that in mind.
* Most independant residents do lunch and dinner but often prepare their own breakfasts. Use this as an opportunity to get some nutrients down her like highly charged cereal etc. So many of the elderly have a cup of tea and one slice of toast with a smear of jam for breakfast and thats it. If she's happy for additives a tablespoon of psylium husks and protein powder to her cereal will not be noticeable but give her a good boost.

Anyway good luck.
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