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Nursing home food

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by eddiemorris, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    As of tomorrow the home manager, who is a wonderful caring lady, as agreed to let me introduce protected meal times, I am following the society guidelines and I am going to drive this forward until all ' carers' in the home, I use the word lightly, serve meals to our clients in a dignified and respectful manner.
    Today I cooked slowly braised beef in mushroom and onion, with a beef jus lie, creamy mash potato, carrots and creamed leeks, they all seemed so happy and ate the lot, makes me so happy when the plates come back empty. Love my new job, its vocational.
  2. JPG1

    JPG1 Account Closed

    Jul 16, 2008
    Wot? No leftovers? Sounds lovely!

    Sure you've not got a plateful to spare??? :)
  3. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    party time

    Currently preparing the food for a party tomorrow to celebrate the emerald wedding anniversary (55 years) of Marjorie & Eric. Eric as been with us for a number of years and the party is a surprise for Marjorie who is blissfully unaware. We have lined up a little jazz band to be playing their favourite record, Elvis Presley, cant helping falling in love. A two tier cake is ready, in emerald green and white of course, now just the canapes, sandwiches and cakes to prep, oh and almost forgot, greek meatballs in a tomato sauce :)
  4. kazza73

    kazza73 Registered User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Perthshire Scotland
    Eddie you are like a breath of fresh air. Am sure we all wish our loved ones could have someone who cares as much as you providing lovely nutritious meals and treats on a daily basis.
    As for the so called 'carers', they could do with following your example.

    I hope the anniversary surprise goes well. Sounds like great fun!
    Keep up the good work! It sounds like you love your job, i'm a great believer in the idea that you get out of a job what you put in and you obviously give your job 100%
  5. imac.girll1

    imac.girll1 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2009
    Dear Eddie, please take a wee picture of the lovely cake, and then we will all be putting in our orders for celebration cakes from you!!!

    Well done that manager as well for at least acknowledging your efforts and trying to put something new into practice.

    The carers WILL learn, either that or don't feed them.

    Waiting for a chicken dish to come up, sorry don't eat beef but it still sounded lovely, yum.

    Keep going.....

  6. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    will give you the recipe for poached chicken in a tarragon sauce :)
  7. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    Hi, here goes, hope you like it :)
  8. imac.girll1

    imac.girll1 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2009
    OMG Eddie, i am sure Marjorie and eric will just love it as well as the residents and the family.

    Tell the carers that can have a bit BUT only if they play nice ;)

    Well done that man.

  9. kazza73

    kazza73 Registered User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Perthshire Scotland
    What a fabulous cake!

    Well done, Eddie!

    Love the idea of chicken in tarragon sauce- yum!

    Karen x
  10. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    #30 eddiemorris, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  11. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Sorry Eddie, the attachment wouldn't open, but WOW that cake...fab.:D:D
  12. zonka

    zonka Registered User

    hi eddie, well done you, i hope when the time comes my mum will be as well catered for and looked after. you are an inspiration. my mum has just gone through a marmalade sandwich phase .but is now eating again properly. she loves her fish.in sauce,in batter,in breadcrumbs,and her favourite cod fish cakes.we have a struggle to get veg into her though .she doesnt seem interested. good luck
  13. knitone

    knitone Registered User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Lovely to read your thread and hear how you working to provide good meals with fresh ingredients.

    Working with the sweet tooth my mother has developed I find sweet potato and parsnip soup with lentils and grated cheese on top goes down well. Her favourite is probably mixed root veg stew with little chunks of swede, beetroot, parsnip and carrot, plus some black beans and again, grated cheese on top. The colours are wonderful, particularly if you serve it in a blue bowl.
  14. dottyd

    dottyd Registered User

    Jan 22, 2011
    haven't had time to read all suggestions -so apologies if this is a duplicate but a firm favourite is

    cottage or shepherd's pie with lots of cheese on top and grilled. Yum! You can even grate some onion finely into the mash. I love it made with corned beef.
  15. Kathphlox

    Kathphlox Registered User

    Dec 16, 2009
    My experience

    Hi Eddie, I've read lots here but I'm not sure I've posted before..so here goes

    I've been looking after Dad for 4 years now and i've seen him slowly go downhill, so we have to adapt every week.

    Things he has never eaten in his life and what I have to do.

    Eggs (unless hidden in something else)
    Cheese (can't see it in cheese sauce)
    Tomatoes (tinned are ok or basil & toms cooked to mush)

    One thing you will come across is diabetes, this is quite hard to handle especially if they have a sweet tooth.

    My experience: Everything was fine until they took dad off medication because of kidney probs (he has type 2). They gave me a testing kit to keep up with his BG. It spiked horribly for a lot of stuff he liked, so I had to find recipes that would suit this. After a lot of experimentation I did find a reasonable cake recipe that I will give you, believe me, most of them are inedible. The old folks and their sweet tooth. ;)

    Unfortunately the advice I got nearly killed him, I put him on a diabetic diet and he lost so much weight it scared me. He's now on a normal diet with as much cream, full milk and potaotes as I can get into him, he's now up to 9st 8lbs, I no longer test his BG ;)

    The next problem to arise was swallowing liquids, cake and bread.

    Liquids are easy to fix with starch thickener.

    Bread and cake are now completely off the menu, they make him cough horribly, so no sandwiches. But i do get some bread down him soaked in thick soup.. If it's store bought I more often have to add thickener. But he loves home made pea & ham hock soup which I can stand a spoon in.

    One strange thing though.. I found he can eat pastry, so he can have a pastie which he can hold if I cut it into slices (this is the only thing he can manage himself)I also make him an apple pie (home made with sweetner)which I cut into slices and freeze, he loves it with custard.. but no sugar at all.. very hard work.

    On bad days when he doesn't drink enough because he's sleeping most of the time, (he usually conks out after his pudding).. I give him a double helping of sugar free jelly, that's in the fridge every day and essential for those days. He does have jelly every day just to be on the safe side even when he's having a good day.

    Something else I discovered, a lot of dementia patients lose the sense of taste. So I make very strong flavours in the food I cook and some that I buy.. like curry or chilli con carn.

    Salad is a work of art.. prawns have to be in a sauce which I make myself.. you know that pink stuff..and salad has to be cut small and has to have mayonnaise mixed in with it, or it won't stay on the spoon..lol, tricks we carers get up to.

    Snacks: he can have quavers because they melt and are not cumbly (don't like wotsits, they make an awful mess, won't buy those again). Somehow he manages to eat diabetic choc waifers.. odd I know. Apples and Pears peeled and cut up: sometimes a little coughing, but we try.

    Here is the link to the diabetic cake recipe which is tried and tested by me, it doesn't rise as much as a normal cake, but it tastes great. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12954436/Madeira Cake with Coconut Recipe.doc

    Apologies for the long post.:eek:

    Good work you are doing there Eddie, you're a saint :)
  16. kit23

    kit23 Registered User

    Jan 4, 2010
    Re: vegetarian diets

    Hi Eddie

    Lovely to hear from someone so compassionate about their job - and you play such an important role in the residents health. I recently attended some dementia training within the NHS and the nutritionalists spoke about upping calories in the mid to end stages as it is important to get calorie intake up at this point. Potato mash made with butter, cream and grated cheese doubles up from 130 - 455 calories! likewise with porridge.(not with cheese or butter!) but with fresh cream and honey. If vegetarian choices get even more limiting - but was assured that cheese/potatoes and beans all good staples with fruit juices and fresh fruit - simple things like peeling rind off melon and cutting into bit size chunks which do not require too much chomping - due to dentures and shrinking gums affecting their comfort when eating. Old fashioned puddings and finding out -if you can from family - what they used to cook/eat as food linked to memories.
    Also remember not to serve piping hot - sounds basic but its surprising how this can put them off if they burn themselves they wont touch it even once cooled down - cups of tea/coffee at drinkable temperature.
    Milkshakes go down well and you can always bulk up the calories there too. In summer to help them cool down plenty of ice lollies and ice cream even if they arnt drinking you can usually encourage them with a tempting lolly! Sometimes humming a song to them gently relaxes them whilst they eat - and yes dont 'serve them' eat 'with them' and make it sociable - this also allows them to follow you with motor skills and feel independant when they forget how to hold knives and forks.
    I think if we all slow down to fit into their world and dont rush them then things can run much more smoothly - I know its hard when everyone needs to work to rotas - but fundamental in understanding those living with dementia.
    the beauty with mash is you can get garden peas and other veg cut up to stick to it on a fork which helps with them being able to feed independantly and enjoy the process.
    Visually exciting foods and different presentation - sometimes different sauces or dips to have with chips or cheese strips can help to make a snack feel completely new - mango sauce, yoghurt with mint, tomatoe, things without bits in I find useful to have in the larder.
    Good luck with it and have fun with the presentation so it looks inviting not just slop all pureed together as another contributor mentioned.
    keep us unpdated with any new ideas you have.
    and keep up the great work
  17. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    Why oh why will support workers not try thier bloody best to help feed my clients and assist them at meal times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My god it is making me so angry. Surely if they dont want to do the job they should leave?
    On a brighter note we have a fantastic unit that is an exception to the rule,God bless them, and some of the meals I have been preparing are going down a treat, slowly braised steak in mushrooms & onions, it falls apart and is really easy to eat and homemade beer battered cod are going down a treat. I will post some recipes on here over the weekend that I have found are working, although I am trying to cater for the individual as well, budget is going through the roof but who cares as long as they are eating :)
    Thank you so much for all the replies and suggestions.
    I cant change yesterday for my clients, but I can try to make tomorrow better for them.
  18. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    You're a star Eddie - thank you for all the lengths you go to for all your clients:)

    Look forward to the recipes
  19. knackered

    knackered Registered User

    Apr 8, 2008
    [QUOTE although I am trying to cater for the individual as well, budget is going through the roof but who cares as long as they are eating :) QUOTE]

    Hi Eddie, reading through this thread and the wonderful things you concoct- which I'm sure the residents love- I wondered if and when you might find budget a problem.
    My mum's care home is brilliant, except for the food.

    The kitchens now provide full english breakfast which mum loves (she used to eat muesli and toast). Although full of calories I know that at least once a day she is getting some protein if she doesnt like the lunch (though the fish and chips is good).

    Mid-afternoon they serve victoria sponge or fruit cake made on the premises. BUT having tasted it myself I'm fairly sure it's made from packet stuff. In it's favour it seems fatless.

    Supper is something else again. I have complained but, due to no kitchen staff after 5pm, the menu deteriorates. The soups look inedible to me- rehydrated concoctions, the worst being beef broth; they do offer sandwiches as an alternative to pasta in tomato sauce which is definitely tinned or worse. The final straw was semolina which my mum resolutely tipped into her water glass. She actually used to like semolina....
    I worked out that the cost of the semolina per person was about 1p, assuming it was bought in bulk and rehydrated with water. Sometimes they get jelly or ice cream which is more acceptable even if of no nutritional value.

    My feeling is that the CH balances its food budget (i.e kitchen staff costs) by skimping on the supper. Many residents retire early, around 6pm. I appreciate that elderly people with dementia would not want to go to bed on a three-course meal so a light supper is probably best. But it seems to be such poor quality. And I'm still not sure if fresh fruit appears on their menus at all. I bring it in for mum who loves it.

    Good luck to you with your creativity- my mum's CH could do with someone like you, so caring, energetic and creative! But don't be surprised if you have to become even more creative once the budget starts becoming restrictive- though somehow I just know you'll manage it.
  20. eddiemorris

    eddiemorris Registered User

    Apr 28, 2011
    Most care homes work on a budget of £3.75 per client per day, although this does not seem to be a large amount, believe me it can go a long way.
    For the last two weeks we have been giving all of our clients the choice of a full english breakfast in the morning, snacks througout the day and fresh nutritional meals including a choice of supper items and I am well within my budget and we cook from fresh.
    I am also developing a new approach in how we provide our meals and I am endeavouring to encourage our support workers to play an active part at mealtimes.
    I found that the breakfast hot trollies would go onto the units at 9am and the carers were then responsible for serving the food to our clients, I found this to be unacceptable as the carers dictated what time our clients got thier breakfast, if at all.
    So I decided that from 7am each morning each unit would phone down to the kitchen and request the breakfast for the client as they get up, it is prepared in the kitchen and taken up to the unit and is given to our client hot, my reasons for implementing this ' room service principle' is simple our clients get thier breakfast when they first get up, in some cases clients were getting up and waiting from 7am up until 10.30 am for thier breakfast (totally unaceptable) now they get it on demmand and we now have 56 beautiful people recieveing, fruit juice,cooked breakfast, cereals and various breakfast items 7 days a week and what is more the carers are adapting and breakfast service is now complete by 10 am each day, how wonderful is that.
    My next challenge is on thursday when I will be providing a powerpoint presentation to relatives and support staff on respect and dignity and the new dining experience for our clients.

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