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Mom is in an AL facility in Connecticut. The director suddenly said no one is allowed to bring food from the dining room to their rooms. (the residents would previously ask for leftovers wrapped to go, or take half a sandwich up with them). The rule now is if you want food in your room they charge a 5$ delivery fee. I was told hti sis suddenly for "health reasons" Anyone deal with this at their AL?

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My dad's AL facility charges $5 for meals that are delivered to his apt. There is no charge for wrapping up part of a meal (that you could not finish in the dining room) to take back to your apt. The apts have fridges and microwaves and you are allowed to prepare and eat whatever you want there.
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Bring mom some snacks for her room. Individually wrapped, designed for lunch boxes. Oreo cookies, protein bars, some candy, chips, etc. see if they bother you about it. I can see some problems with people taking good back to their rooms -- insects, even rodents. It may be a new policy, but it served a purpose.
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Usually there is a "family council" at assisted living facilities , have you tried contacting them?
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What did the director tell you? I would call around to other ALs and find out if this is a common practice in CT. I'd your mom a private pay patient? What is your fear ?
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I am afraid to make too much of a fuss since I don't want mom "thrown out"-- I cant even comment on the review sites because of that. Speaking to the director did no good.
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If their reasons are to keep track of food eaten or stop hoarding, then make your deliveries and stop the delivery fee. Then you would convince me its for the patients sake and not for their pocketbook.
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Yes, where I live people must pay $1 for a container to take food to their rooms. It has nothing to do with bugs or sanity. It has to do with the institution being cheap. They are afraid a person may take an extra apple or perhaps wanting to order a dessert that they cannot consume at that time. It is disgusting and they charge you for food even if you are in another hospital. How can this be legal. This takes place at Ingleside Apartments where 90% of the residents are disabled. They must pocket the money that the person is paying for the food but not eating. Isn't this double dipping? My hall mate has been in the hospital since before Christmas and is being charged daily for eating food that is not served. Is there no justice for the elderly?
Patricia Wolskee, PhD
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My guess is that it has something to do with old food in the rooms. AL residents with dementia are likely to "put food away" in inappropriate places where it can smell and attract insects and rodents. And then there is the risk that a resident will find the spoiled food and eat it. By requiring delivery of the food, the facility can better track who may have food in the room. Allowing anyone to take leftovers from the dining room would be challenging to monitor. The fee may be an attempt to discourage food in the rooms.
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the al my mom was in briefly had a fridge , sink , dishes , microvave . it doesnt make sense that they couldnt take a snack from dinner to their room to enjoy later . maybe the sneaked away food is making it hard for them to chart how much of the meal was eaten for the dieticians records . either way al shoud be a motel setting with the elder as a paying guest and id balk at too many restrictive rules .
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But the policy seems contradictory to what goes on at other ALs . what about the AL's that advertise "grab and Go" food carts with soup and sandwiches and breakfast muffins so that residents can be flexible in their eating schedule? Wouldn't that food be hoarded? And what would stop a delivered tray from being hoarded and not refrigerated. My concern is that there is a financial motive behind this at the expense of AL resident's autonomy (such as it is)
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Assisted Living includes three meals a day. Extra meals are $5 whether it is a guest or yourself. That means 3 meals, not 3 meals and one to go.
Food in rooms runs a high risk of going bad before it is used. For example, mom was taking empty pop cans from the dining hall and hoarding them in her closet. I found them by following the rotten odor. Or she would wrap a dessert in a napkin and hide it and it would rot. It's all too common.
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