Oh breakfast. The smell of toast, eggs and coffee. You’d think I wouldn’t eat food cooked in a nursing home, but I do. … Ok, so we’re NOT supposed to, technically. But after running around for 1.5 hours you get hungry! I always have another coffee in my own mug that I keep hidden so no one else will use it.
Alright, first things first. Not everyone is here yet but since I’m early I can get things started. After working here a while I’ve become accustomed to my residents and knowing their preferences, so I know who likes cereal or porridge. I hate porridge, I think it has the consistency of warm boogers (which I don’t tell my residents or Lord know what would happen) so that’s all them. While residents are eating their porridge or cereal, we serve tea and coffee. … Oh… what the, what smells so good? Not the coffee….
That explains it. The dietary boss is here and he wears this cologne that’s just… wow. Hey. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a woman, I like men, so when I smell a nice man I get distracted. You would too, don’t lie to me. Anyway, moving on. Every now and then they’ll come up here to check up on things and make sure that meals are being served properly and to the right people. NEVER drink your own coffee or eat while working in the dining room. Common sense, right? Yeah, not so common. Do your work first, THEN take your coffee and go on break. If your caught doing this you’re toast (pun intended, HA!).
On the menu today and every day we have a variety to choose from – ranging from regular, minced and puree. Yep, we do it all. If someone is on a regular diet, well, they eat like you or I would. If someone is on a minced diet, their food is prepared exactly how it is suggested: minced. Bread is served NOT toasted and with the crust cut off. Puree is baby food, plain and simple. It looks disgusting and I feel sorry for anyone who has to eat it. Thankfully, for the few that do eat it, they’re a point in their life where they either don’t care or don’t know the difference. Now WHY do we serve such a variety you might ask? Some residents have swallowing problems (in this case, we thicken fluids to reduce choking) and some residents have no teeth and have trouble chewing with their dentures.
We usually finish breakfast around 9:30, give or take 10 minutes. If I have the time I’ll help out in the dining room by clearing the tables and wiping them down but if I know I have a busy morning a head I get started ASAP. ESPECIALLY on shower days. Residents are on a shower schedule, giving them each a minimum of 2 showers a week. Don’t look disgusted. Just because they’re not in an actual shower or bath doesn’t mean they don’t get cleaned on a daily basis. Residents in a nursing home or retirement home are probably the cleanest people you will ever meet. The amount of face cloths, peri cloths and diapers I go through on a daily basis is ridiculous. We also have lovely laundry facilities 🙂
When should I take my break? Well, I make my own break time based on what I have going on that day. So long as there is always one PSW on the floor, when I take my break is totally up to me. After breakfast, if I don’t have any showers to do I make my beds and check on my residents to make sure they don’t need changing yet.
Maybe I will go on break. I need coffee.