Withholding food in assisted living.

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I work in an assisted living community. I have not been here long but a few months. There are so many things I find wrong. I normally work nights but have been picking up mornings and evenings lately. I have learned that if a resident does not want to come down to the dining room for a meal we cannot give them food in their room. I then get response from other coworkers" oh well they can just eat whatever they have in their room." Well most the people don't have anything in their rooms. Not even light snacks. I find this to be some form of torture. And would greatly appreciate some opinions.


Is this policy in writing? Is it known to relatives and loved ones?

It doesn't sound like food is being "withheld" in the sense that the residents are not allowed to eat, but rather that they are told when and where food is being served and expected to get there. I presume there is an option for them to get help getting to meals (perhaps for an additional feel) if getting there on their own is a hardship. (There is such an option in facilities I know of.)

Expecting persons in ALF to go to the dining room for their meals does not seem like "torture" to me. It does sound like perhaps an overly restrictive policy, but then I don't see the full picture. What if someone is mildly ill and wants to stay in their room for several days? Is there an exception then? Is there an exception for a resident known to have mental health issues related to being in groups of people?

You've given a small snapshot of things you've observed over a short period of time, and without the context of the rules and the reasons for the rules.

My suggestion is to keep observing and try to get a bigger picture instead of a small snapshot. If you still feel this policy is abusive, talk to upper management, and, if necessary, the ombudsman.
Except in memory care people in AL are expected to have the wherewithal to look after themselves, I imagine there is tray service available, but only if it is arranged in advance and paid for.
It is in the facility's best interest to keep their residents as healthy as possible since frail residents mean more work and eventually an empty room as they move to a place with a greater level of care. I expect someone is keeping an eye out for people that are missing too many meals and a call will be made to their family or POA.
yep, no meal in the room unless they are sick. that's the way it was at my fathers place. He hated the other residents so I had to stock him with cases of nutritional drink. The rules were that way because of bugs- which he did end up having because of all the cookies and chocolate he had stashed.
The residents aren't going to starve, chances are they went to breakfast and to lunch, and if the meals are anything like what my Dad can choose, the meals are hardy. Thus, there might be a time when a resident just isn't hungry for dinner, so they skip it.

One has to remember, in Assisted Living or Memory Care, these residents are not doing a lot of exercising or going on long walks to boost up their appetite. They just can't do that any more.

The facility also wants the residents to be around other people, thus the reason the staff wants the residents to be in the main dining room. It's like a social hour. If one had tray service in their room, that resident may never leave the room. Now, if a person had a fall or had been ill, I can see tray service done for a couple of days.
Yes, its ASSISTED, not independent living! They Have to come for their meals, or else they could be sitting around getting weaker and weaker! By all means, make it policy for them to Have to come for meals, or they will become so frail, next stop is the Nursing home! I can definitely see them having snacks in their rooms, but they pay for that great service, nurishing meals, they should be taking advantage of it!
OH MY if my MIL could get them to bring the meals, she would abuse the snot out of the privilege and send stuff back to boot. At the Assisted Living level, if they repeatedly refuse to come to dinner, the facility will tell the family to move them to skilled nursing. As it should be.

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