Almost all nursing home facilities have an organization that residents can work with to get their voices heard. Some have a resident council, which consists of a group of residents that meet and discuss issues. Other nursing homes have a local ombudsmen that works with state regulators to ensure that the home is operating properly and all residents are treated fairly. In Kentucky, a group of 35 nursing facilities have both. They have a resident council that hears complaints and issues, and that resident council takes these issues to the Barren River Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
Last Tuesday, 100 nursing home residents and workers attended a conference held by the Barren River Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to voice concerns and find solutions to problems. The overwhelming concern among most nursing home residents was the same: Food. According to the Ombudsman Program, this is often the biggest complaint each year. While nursing homes struggle for funding, one of the biggest cost cutters is to change the food offered. Nursing homes are required to provide meat at every meal, and with chicken being the most universal and often affordable meat, many nursing homes in the Kentucky area are serving chicken with almost every meal.
Residents are very concerned about redundant and bland food, and nursing homes are being encouraged to improve their offerings immediately. If you are searching for a nursing home for your loved one, be sure to attend at least one meal at the home to determine for yourself whether or not the food is suitable. Nursing home residents often cannot cook their own food, so it is very important that their offerings are diverse, flavorful, and healthy.