My elderly father recently moved into a nursing home outside Louisville. The caregivers seem attentive enough and friendly, but I’m worried that he won’t get enough to eat. He’s a very picky eater and quite obstinate; if he doesn’t like something, he will not eat. How can I make sure he doesn’t starve to death?

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There are a number of steps you can take:

  • Eat meals with him whenever you can. Most nursing homes allow visitors to buy meals in the dining room. This way, you can try out the food yourself.
  • Take him a set of his favorite herbs and spices. If the food is too bland for his liking, he can sprinkle more flavoring on it. I wouldn’t take in salt, though, without checking first with his doctor. Your dad’s doctor may be restricting his salt intake.
  • Take meals when you visit. It will be a treat for both of you to enjoy kabobs, tacos, beef chow foon, and other yummy foods from a variety of cuisines. Your dad will look forward to your meals together.
  • Talk to staff about your father’s favorite foods. See if they can put in a word with the chef to serve them occasionally.

Malnutrition may be a sign that your loved one is suffering Kentucky nursing home neglect. 

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