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Often the lives of residents appears to revolve around such routines as mealtimes.

There was uproar within one home because  a well meaning manager altered the mealtimes to an hour later without consulting either the residents or the staff. Another manager decided that drinks would now be served after the meal, not during the meal. These plans were swiftly altered back again.

Residents often appear to be seated in the same place at mealtimes. This may make it easier for staff and provide security for residents. A group of residents on one table could not tolerate anybody else at their table. They liked the opportunity to have  a good chat. They were often heard to be comparing illnesses such as bowel frequency or aches and pains. They even discussed staff or other residents. “You see her, she is new here”. Come and join the club for the latest gossip. At least they could talk about something.

Gladys requested her breakfast a quarter of an hour earlier than everybody else because she wanted her breakfast first. She just needed that extra special attention and security.

Nurse Try sat assisting Mr Drew to eat his dinner. “Have you had your dinner yet?” asked Mr Drew considerately. When the nurse replied that she had not, Mr Drew wrapped her a handful of chips up in a serviette.

Nurse Rock sat feeding Mrs Stem at the same time as watching television. She must have been engrossed in the programme because nurse Rock ate the next spoonful of liquidised food herself.

Mrs Green, a rather large lady, went out alone weekly on the bus to the day centre. However, she was often cited in a cafe hovering over  a large plate of cakes despite being on  a reducing diet. Not to be deterred, the home manager sent her there and back in  a taxi. However, she still bought items of food from other residents.

Mrs Downing a rather active elderly lady, received salad for tea but insisted that she had ordered fish. This was a frequent occurrence but an alternative was always provided with reassurances that it would not reoccur.

Where was Ruth taking that cup of milk? A care assistant followed her. She was removing milk from the kitchen and taking them to her bedroom where it was nicely turning sour along with mouldy teabags. A tasty brew!

In response to the residents request for tripe, the new chef cooked some tripe in onion sauce. The residents were still not happy - they preferred it cold, on it’s own. Always listen to the residents.

Similarly the buns from the kitchen were uninspiring, like swiss roll for example. A new chef suggested choux buns and mille fuille but the residents were not happy. They liked the old, traditional type.

Dinner time and Mr Agar was still hungry. He helped himself to a sandwich from Mrs Harvey who did not seem to mind but was given some more by the nurse.

Mr Downs was having difficulty feeding himself so he was fed by Mr Blue who sat besides him.

The care home inspector suggested that the menu be written in French, for example pommes frittes. How many 80 or 90 year olds speak French? Even the staff were confused.

Another care home inspector ordered plastic tablecloths and plastic flowers. There was so much uproar from the residents, that it was decided against.

It was lunchtime. Mrs Green was in tears. Care assistant Jones was feeding somebody else that day.

Feeding does not end during the day. Mr Small asked for some chips in the night. Out came the chip pan and it was chips all round for those who wanted them.

It was Christmastime. A well meaning home manager put a plate of mince pies in the entrance hall for visitors. Unfortunately, they were near Doris , a diabetic, who always sat there. She promptly ate the lot.

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