Nursing Home Residents Getting Less in Food Than Prisoners and Guinea Pigs
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Just on the heels of reports that nursing home residents are inappropriately drugged into oblivion by antipsychotics – new reports have surfaced about the abysmal condition of the food given to people in their golden years. It is reportedly worse than that of prisoners…and even guinea pigs when the cost of the food is considered.
That is to say that all three meals for nursing home residents in Australia average $6.08 for the entire day. The news was dubbed as a “national disgrace.” While this revelation alone is enough to make anyone shudder, consider that the nursing home industry reaps in at least $1 billion dollars annually in Australia.
Keep in mind that symptoms of malnutrition can mirror those of dementia which would beg the question of whether residents are being misdiagnosed or drugged for symptoms that are actually food deprivation. A more sinister thing to ponder is whether food withholding is a slower form of end-of-life treatment.
AUSTRALIAN pensioners are fed on just $6 a day, according to shocking new statistics which the AMA president has called a “national disgrace”.
The “wholly inadequate’’ sum of money is less than Australian prisoners get for their meals and medical chief Michael Gannon says more money is spent on his guinea pigs’ food.
“My children’s guinea pigs get fresh ingredients and more money spent on them,’’ AMA President, Mr Gannon told the Courier-Mail. “It’s a national disgrace the way we treat our aged.”
The study, by Bond University dietitian Cherie Hugo and accountants Stewart Brown, shows that nursing homes spend only an average of $6.08 per resident to provide three meals a day. It also proved that prisons spend an average of $8.25 per prisoner per day on food.
The community at large spends on average of $18.29 per day, per individual and $23.60 per couple per day.
While fingers are pointed at funding issues and an “aged-care resourcing crisis,” the industry in Australia is raking in a fortune and other Western countries like the U.S., England and Canada have allegedly expanded their food budgets for nursing home care.
Another issue that stands out in the report is the choice of supplement products as opposed to fresh food for nutrition. This method is clearing causing under-nourishment.
The research study, which was based on the financial reports from 817 aged care providers for 64,256 residents, states that half of these residents suffer from malnutrition.
It found that nursing homes cut spending on food by 30 cents per resident last year.
The report’s authors wrote the decrease means that spending of food appears to be “significantly lower than food budgets in the Australian community, correctional services and internationally”.
The report stated:
Increasing the aged care profit margin by reducing food spend impacts the quality of resident care and can contribute to malnutrition rates in aged care.
Malnutrition is associated with a cascade of adverse outcomes, including increased risk of falls, pressure injuries and hospital admissions, leading to poorer resident quality of life and increased healthcare costs.
Whereas these revelations should be a call for true change, it sounds like the response has been complaints about the resources required for elder care and weak calls for more government, more funding and more nurses.
Here’s a thought: How about fresh food!
DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
This article (Nursing Home Residents Getting Less in Food Than Prisoners and Guinea Pigs) was created by and appeared first at Natural Blaze. It can be reshared with attribution but MUST include link to homepage, bio, intact links and this message.