Can anything be done to improve meal quality in nursing home?

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My mom lives in a fairly upscale nursing home, at least good for Medicaid accepted ones. But the food is horrible. My mom has been to 4 nursing homes over rehab and long term and this is by far the worst. Some days she gets hamburgers for lunch and dinner several days in a row. Just yesterday I visited and the entire lunch was one piece of white bread, a plate of what looked like tomato soup with noodles thrown in it, it seriously looked half eaten there was barely anything there, and melon. Luckily I brought my mom pizza for lunch that day, but I really wish I took a picture of that meal. There was absolutely no protein and I don't see how that would fill anyone.

I keep my mom supplied with items to make sandwiches and meals as I can, but is there anything that can be done to improve the meal situation there? No protein is a common one and my mom has spoken to the dietitian several times. She is cognitively there and can voice her opinion just fine fortunately, but in this case nothing is working. I know nursing homes are notorious for bad food, but is there anything can I do or someone I can contact to help change the food?

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Babalou, What is CMS? The only ratings I know of are Meicare's and US News and World Report. A rating of "1" would alarm me.

A nurse once told me that staffing ratings can be misleading. A facility may, for example, have three stars for staffing which is apparently based on patient-nurse/etc ratio however they may be more efficient than another facility with a higher rating due to a larger but less efficient staff.

As for hospital discharge people - specifically the social workers I spoke to at the hospital, they knew nothing. They just wanted the patient out. They handed me a paper with a list of nursing homes and let me do the research. I found some of them appalling. The hospital, a very good one, should be ashamed to include these nursing homes on the list. I found the hospital social workers uninformed and unhelpful. Maybe the law restricts what they can say but trying to get some real help at a moment of crisis was impossible.
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Houseplant, the detailed information you would like to see is most likely calculated and reviewed by the facility's or the parent corporation's accountants on a regular basis. It would probably be considered proprietary and not available to the public. But I'm certain that it would be the basis for determining service levels and cost.
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I would like to see a budgetary breakdown of monthly costs itemized in the areas of nursing care, personal care, meals, laundry and recreational staffing. In a second table I would like to see a breakdown in real-time costs associated with maintenance staffing and equipment, and landscaping costs. Additionally, I would like to see what is spent for overall staffing and executive level leadership. I just think meals really is a leftover thought when it comes to making them attractive and tasty. Meals seem to meet dietary requirements, but not much more. I'm sure this data is buried in a vault in state or and/or federal agencies and carefully shielded from public view. Maybe it would take a media investigation via the Freedom of Information Act to determine how Medicaid dollars get applied to a Medicaid budget. Snfs take in public dollars so some level of transparency should exist. I just haven't seen any information of this nature.
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Trevor, after posting the other night, i looked up the facility"s current CMS rating. In all categories, it has fallen to one star, except in staffing, where it has 4 stars ( this is for patient/staff ratio), which is the stat i always look at.

I'm not sure what to make of this. MsMadge, another poster has her mom in
a 5 star memory care place that sounds like a poorly run asylum. My mom is in a one star place getting fabulous care.

Apparently, the ratings don't tell the whole story, which is why you have to visit and see for yourself. When mom first entered here, it was on the recommendation of the discharge folks at the hospital. We said " but their rating..." The nurse, "go see for yourselves".

I have no idea about confessions. Father is on staff and visits each resident who so desires frequently.
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Why is your facility only rates three stars when it seems to be five stars?
Just curious....If nuns distribute communion daily, how often does a priest come to hear confessions?
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That's a lot for a facility that is rated average.
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So, nothing to with meals. My mom ( private pay) is at a three star ( out of 5) NH in Connecticut. She has meals and snacks, staff on call, laundry, sheet and towel service. Chaplain who vists, nuns who distribute communion daily. In room movies, cable TV. Meds prescribed and deliivered by an RN who explains to her what is being given to her. Nurse Practitioner who vists her daily. Vitals taken and recorded. Family called if suspicion of infection or injury. Care conference with all involved stafff every 90 days. Walking protocol inplace--every day a staff member walks mom with walker, gaitbelt up and down hallway and number of steps loged for record. Social activities take place each day. On site beauty salon.
Geriatrician on site who examines mom when needed and advises on treatment and consults with family. Psychiatric APRN who visits and consults on/adjusts mom's antidepressants and antianxiety meds. Wound doctor who visits regularly. Podiatry services. Audiologist, optomotrist and dental hygienist who visit and examinr/ service mom.

Social worker who answers my emails in 24 hours.

Yes, i think this is worth the $12,000 per month mom is paying. She wil run out of funds in three years (she's 93 now. She has been there for almost 3 years). I'm grateful we found a facility that would accept Medicaid after 3 years private pay. She wil run out of funds in 2 years.

Her curent payments offset not just her future costs, but those of current Medicaid residents. Happy to pay it forward.
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Surely even at $200 a day there is a good profit, no?
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Babalou

It's still profit, that is one top of the profit from room and board.
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pamstegma

I'm not surprised. There are seniors who don't want to/ feel like eating so there could be some savings in not feeding them 3 meals a day. Yes, the food is blah and bland,
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