Eating Healthy
at Assisted Living Facility

by Rose

Rose's Question...

I am a senior interested in eating a healthy diet. Four months ago I moved into a facility which offers two meals a day. I make my own breakfast and go to the dining room for lunch. the problem is they serve mainly fried foods and processed foods. The salad bar has only iceberg lettuce and a few other items.

I would like to find a senior residence which offers healthy food even if I have to start one of my own. Can you help me find others who would like to share this lifestyle? Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Suzy's Answer...

Hi, Rose,

Thanks so much for your great question.

You have hit on one area that I am very concerned about. I don't understand why hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities often provide such poor quality meals, when they are serving people who are the most in need of healthy food.

I know they have to be concerned with the cost, but fried foods are not necessarily any cheaper than fresh ones, and Romaine lettuce can actually be less expensive than iceberg lettuce. Is it possible that they think that these are the foods people prefer?

I wish I could be of more help to you, but I will post your question on our healthy eating site, and perhaps some of our visitors will respond with ideas that will be of help to you. I'm not sure where you live or what choices you have as to facilities, but perhaps if you notified the management about your concerns, some changes could be made.

Generally, a dietitian would be in charge of planning the menus at such a facility, and should know about what makes a nutritious meal that will also be easy to digest, especially for seniors whose digestive systems may not be as effective as they once were.

I hope you will continue to eat healthy as much as you can under the circumstances. You will have to make your breakfasts count, since it seems to be the only meal you have control over!

Thanks again for visiting our site!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell


by: an assisted living dietitian

As a dietitian, my first concern for my clients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is the food that they're eating. Most of the time, food is just served and you have to go with what is available. It is very important that before going into an assisted living facility or a nursing home, one should ask questions about the food and the menu. As we grow older, we need nutritious food more. And getting fried or processed food most of the time is definitely not good. I suggest you make a formal request to the head of the home and request a change in the menu or at least offer more alternatives. Thanks.

Comments for Eating Healthy
at Assisted Living Facility

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Health food for the elderly too!
by: Anonymous

It's a shame that there are not senior homes that serve fresh fruits and vegetables. I see only canned and heavy processed foods. I think the next generation will probably demand healthier foods in senior homes. For now it's the same mushy foods in every senior home I've visited.

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