Food, food, food…

Posted on October 23, 2010

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Food… Food…Food!

Many of the residents lose track of time – “What day is it… Wednesday?” – but they know when it’s time to eat! They start herding toward the dining room right on the button. One smart ass singing out “moo… moo … here come the cows wending our way to the barn door. “

Meal times are so important, breaking the boredom and loneliness, providing close contact with others at tables for four, even if little is said. The same people tend to eat together, meal after meal, day after day so there isn’t a lot of ‘news’: the weather, a phone call from a daughter, sport scores, driving tests, the new resident with the strange accent, a budding romance… and of course one topic trumps all others: the food! For seniors with finicky appetites food is vitally important. So the chef is important – more than the nurse, or the doctor. Well, just a minute – those serving the food are pretty darn important too – they’re the targets of the perennial complaints – “it’s cold, it’s dry, it’s raw, what’s that?” The servers encourage and cajole those with no appetite to take a few bites of this, a spoonful of that. They’re the ones who try to rustle up alternate servings from the one the resident rejects even though they ordered it from the menu.

Old age ain’t for sissies. And looking after them ain’t for the impatient or faint-hearted. Studies indicate that care-giving spouses are six times more likely to show signs of cognitive decline than average.

 

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Posted in: Sciencing