Saturday, April 25, 2015


When you check into a health care facility, they ask if you have any allergies.  Why would I think to have to tell then that I am allergic to fresh cheap paint?  Here at this nursing and rehab center, they didn't bother to ask anyone.  There are many elderly people here....who also have oxygen being pumped in their nasal cavities.  I have an allergy and am now sick.  Sore throat led to congestion. Many of the days it was too cold to open the windows.  Why couldn't they simply wait for better weather or splurge on paint that did not have those smelly chemicals?

I had one guy painting outside my room while the door was open.  Lots of painting being done near the area where the therapy is being conducted.  Staff having issues as well but I guess the administration simply does not care. More important is for it to "look good" for future residents as the family tours the facility.

It appears that much of the nursing and therapy staff are from the Philippines. I crave Arroz Caldo...a chicken soup that contains slices of fresh ginger root.  One person did bring me a honey ginger tea and despite bringing fresh ginger to the chef, I was never able to get it in my food or soup.  Do they no want me to get well?  One woman some doors down from me "passed" as the saying goes.

It is around 6 a.m. Saturday morning when I push the call button for an aide...bed pan.  Someone comes around each evening to bring a cup of apple juice and a few cookies.  The apple juice is sitting on my moveable desk.  She knocks it over.  I see her doing something and ask.  She responds by saying, “Why do you have apple juice here?”  She removes the papers that got wet, dabs a bit and doesn’t even apologize.  It’s not as if the bed pan task is done in the dark.  I later find the entire desk to be sticky and apple juice still on the floor.  I called downstairs to file a complaint.  No one came up.  Weekend thing. 

I had a long conversation with what I got is the assistant director of this part of the facility.  She said that I should file complaints as they happen. I guess that means as long as it’s not on a weekend. 

More than a week ago my toe was injured during therapy.  I notified a nurse.  I was told that they would make an appointment to a have an orthopedist see me.  Hasn’t happened.  A psychologist came to see me. She asked if I was sleeping well.  Anything she asked should have gotten a sarcastic response. They tend to patronize me.

So how was the weekend regarding food?  Although the menu was to be completed by Friday for the following week (which is supposed to include Sunday),  I did not received it until…which again says, “You’ll eat what we give you on Sunday”.  Saturday afternoon was “Roast beef with roasted potatoes”.  The roast beef was clearly from a deli roast and put in the microwave.  You can’t disguise it with gravy.  The potatoes were out of a can.  I opted for the baked chicken which must have been cooked the day before and put in the microwave.  Dinner was supposed to be a squash soup but was an onion soup.  It came with a mac and cheese (food). 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


When you are paying for the meals at a nursing or rehab facility, what can or should you expect?  One such facility located in Forest Hills serves “institutional food” as many others.  Here is how it works. You first speak with the nutritionist about allergies as well as likes and dislikes.   They give you a sheet of paper with the menu for the week.  It took me a while to learn as the communication and keeping of agreements here has become impossible. 

I checked in 3 weeks ago and although the state of my knee problem has improved, other things have not.

Being a kosher facility, I knew not to expect pork or shellfish nor milk coming with a meal with meat.  Let’s begin with the mashed potatoes.  They are clearly from a box and nothing will disguise it. I have it listed not to serve it to me, but it still comes even when the paper coming with it says, “no mashed potatoes”.  Then there are those white potatoes that come from a can with some sort of additives or preservatives.  Potatoes are not an expensive item. Too much work to peel and cut?  Just scrub and bake them!

I always order a hard boiled egg for breakfast rather than the institutional scrambled eggs. I want a real egg.  Margarine is served and told that they don’t serve butter because nobody has requested it.  Has anyone asked?  I can understand butter not being served with the meat meals.  Margarine is less expensive.   Need I say more?

One has the opportunity of eating in their room, the day room on the floor or the main dining room.   The one advantage of eating in the main dining room is that food arrives at the correct temperature.  I choose to eat in my room.  Hot food has always arrived “tepid” and that doesn’t bother me as much as the food itself.

I went through a Passover week-plus and was told that the food would be better once it was over.  Really? Tilapia seems to be the fish of preference here.  Price, etc.  I don’t care for the taste.  I have seen fish nuggets and lots of canned tuna of a low grade.   Hamburger or meatballs have to be “stretched”, if you know what I mean.  Whenever chicken is available, I opt for that.

Here are examples of meal experiences.  Menu had roast turkey, flavored rice and vegetables.   Lift the lid to find no turkey.   Did someone else want it and switched or the inept worker didn’t notice that the protein was not placed?  Menu cited, “Bake Ziti”.  It was some sort of Passover pasta with an American cheese sauce and topped with two tablespoons of jarred tomato sauce.  One dinner cited Italian Wedding Soup and got broth.  In spite of my requesting the roasted chicken over the beef stew.  Need I say what I got?

Lately they are placing non-fat milk on my tray when there is no need to change from whole milk. This last one totally proved that the attitude is “you’ll eat what you get whether you like it or not”.  

It is 5:45 pm when dinner arrives. Tilapia, pasta and broccoli.  All cold. No, I don’t want my meal reheated in a microwave.  I request alternate and told that it is a grilled cheese sandwich but that they are out of them.  I am handed a cheese sandwich.  Two slices of cheese food and dry.   There is a cup of pieces of canned pears.  I taste and not sweet.  It is meant for a diabetic.  I am not and the milk is non-fat.   They managed to send up a tuna salad plate after I made at least 3 calls to a supervisor and the nurse calling down to the kitchen 3 times.

In one meal, they must have either run out of zucchini or forgot to buy it and substituted cucumbers as if I would not notice. One recent lunch cited “fresh fruit” and “juice”.  I did not get either, but I did get MASHED POTATOES!