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Christmas Day Meal

December 28, 2014

I saw an article yesterday in the Huffington Post about an inadequate meal in a senior’s home on Christmas day.  As it happens, I had the same meal at another senior’s home.  The article was picked up by several other news outlets today.

The picture accompanying the article showed a paper plate containing half a bun, half a slice of bologna, and a small pile of macaroni salad.  It was quite misleading.  Anyone who looked 0nly at the picture would naturally be outraged about the meal.  The text of the story did mention that the seniors were served a turkey meal for lunch.  Still, it implied that the seniors were being starved.

The evening meal was a buffet.  You could take as much as you wanted of any of the foods.  I ate the same meal on Christmas evening, and before, on the previous Christmas.  I was there visiting my parents.  There was a large bowl of buns, and two prepared salads.  One was a macaroni salad, and the other a potato salad.  There was also a tray of sliced vegetables, a third salad.  The meat tray had sliced roast beef, ham, chicken, and of course bologna.  We had chocolate cake for dessert.  There was also a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or juice.  I’d say that was an adequate meal, especially since we had been served a turkey dinner a few hours earlier.  It’s only once a year, on Christmas evening,  that the seniors have a meal without the kitchen staff.  This allows the staff to spend an afternoon and evening with their families.  Dinner at noon on Christmas was served by the staff.  We dined on turkey, cranberries, dressing, fresh vegetables, and mashed potatoes, with pumpkin pie for dessert.  I was full at the end of that meal.

This senior’s home serves their main meal at noon.  They call it dinner.  The evening meal is smaller.  I prefer to eat that way too, although I realize some people like their evening meal to be the largest.  Each meal has a special main course along with some options for people who don’t want the special.  I generally ask for the special dish.  For breakfast, they alway offer hot and cold cereal, and juice or fruit.  The special is often cake or pastry baked in their kitchen, along with bacon or sausage.  Only about half the residents come for breakfast.  All 0f them are there for dinner and supper.  Dinner is generally a salad, a main course, and dessert.  Supper is generally soup, a main course, and desert.  The main courses are different each time.  I’ve been satisfied with all of them.

This senior’s home does serve small portions of food.  They have the smallest soup bowls and salad dishes that I’ve ever seen.  Still, many of the residents ask for half portions of food.  That’s all they can eat.  Most of the seniors get very little exercise.  Many of them have difficulty walking, making it even more difficult to keep active.  I expect that when I’m their age I will eat less than I do now too.

The whole article was misleading, on many levels.  I am assuming, of course, that my parent’s senior’s home is similar to the one mentioned in the article.  Young active people would find the food to be inadquate.  They might well feel starved.  Elderly people, on the other hand, would likely find the food to be too much for them.  The only way to be sure is to ask them.


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