What is the food like in a quality Adult Family Home in the Shoreline area?

In any Adult Family Home, food is one of the most important considerations. When you’re a teenager, it feels like any food is good enough, but as we age, food becomes an increasingly important issue, and for several reasons: Health, enjoyment and nutrition.

Seniors need more control over what they eat

Even in my fifties, I have learned that my body responds to food intake more sensitively. For instance, when I was decades younger, I could wolf down a large burger and fries, and think no more of it. Today, that same meal would stick in my gut for a day, and I would feel the worse for it. Perhaps it’s mostly as a result of my becoming more aware of what my body had always whispered to me, but today, I definitely cannot simply eat what I feel like eating. Probably, too, my digestive system has changed. It’s not as forgiving as it was when I was young, it’s slower, and … well … I’m simply older, and my digestive system is also older. For all those reasons, I need a lot more control over what I eat that the level of control I had when I was for example in my twenties, and I expect that trend to continue as I continue to age.

Any Adult Family Home should offer a significant level of control over the specific food each resident eats. The wonderful thing about Adult Family Homes in Washington State is, they only allow six – mandated by state law – residents per individual residence. You might wonder why this would be so important, but having only six residents to care for, the care giver staff can easily provide individualized meals and food programs.

Individualized diets for each resident of the Adult Family Home

By the time each of us reaches our senior years, food is not only a critical component of our health, it’s also one of those enjoyable experiences of the day. Perhaps our eyesight is no longer good enough to enjoy a good book cover to cover, or our hearing is diminished so that music is not as clear to us, but a good meal can be wonderful. My own father lost most of his eyesight from diabetes, had a leg injury that hobbled him in his later years, and had innumerable health conditions that plagued him, but he knew exactly when his mid-morning snack was due. No sooner was his breakfast cleared, but he’d be getting excited about what way the mid-morning eggs were going to be done. My mother was a good cook, and acceded to his almost every request. She knew that is was one of the few joys he had left, other than being loved by his spouse of sixty years.

Retired nurses on staff bring nutrition experience to bear

The owners of an Adult Family Home can, if they wish, hire school leavers to take care of their in-home residents, but the good Adult Family Homes know that hired experienced care giver staff in the form of retired nurses is probably the absolute best way to take care of their residents. After several decades of looking after patients in a hospital, working in an Adult Family Home would be easy. From going to one emergency after another, working in an Adult Family Home where the small handful of residents are relatively healthy and predictable from a care taking point of view, would certainly be like retiring. No surprise, then, that so many retired nurses choose this as the perfect part time job.

Imagine working in the day-to-day emergency environment such as a hospital. One false diagnosis, and a patient is in serious trouble. A nurse can be careful and accurate with a thousand patients’ conditions and needs, one after the next, then one slip and she forgets to check, for example, the patient’s sugar levels before giving them an injection. She gets lucky this time, but the decades of experience of having to be super careful with every single such decision of every single day makes for a fine-tuned professional who can perform under pressure. Now, her job is looking after your loved one. When that three AM ‘event’ occurs at the Adult Family Home, that same registered nurse steps in to take charge of the situation. What might otherwise have been a major issue is quickly dealt with, and no issue occurs. Everyone goes back to sleep and everybody is happy.

Organic, fresh, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food at an Adult Family Home

Organic food ingredients have become easier and easier to come by. Even large box stores like Costco offer more and more produce in organic form. More farms are turning to the production of it because more people are making choices in favor of organic. Why? Health reasons for one, but true organic produce can taste far better than mass produced, non-organic equivalents. Try this some time, if you get the chance: buy a regular tomato from a farmer’s market, then go fetch the equivalent tomato in a regular supermarket, but of the non-organic variety. Now take a bite out of each in turn, back and forth. You will notice the difference. In many cases, the difference is so remarkable, they can taste like two different fruits. Well, they are two different fruits, to all intents and purposes. Bioengineering of fruits, vegetables and animal food products has fundamentally altered the food we eat. That’s why organic have become so popular.

In an Adult Family Home – a good one, that is – they will try to bring a substantial amount of their food in as organic. It’s difficult to make everything organic, or they’d send the day hunting the neighborhood for every food item, but substantial elements can be, for sure. Again, looking at the big box stores, it’s possible to buy organic in bulk and offer a choice of meals around those organic ingredients, to the most part anyway. This way the Adult Family Home residents are getting a good proportion of their food intake in organic form, which will cover the nutritional needs well.

The older I get, the less meat I eat. I still eat red meet, but perhaps only once a month. Chicken perhaps once a week, and fish and/or eggs once a day. But I have found myself going several days at a time eating only vegetarian only. it’s nice to have the choice, and if I were ever to live in an Adult Family Home, I’ll be very happy if most days they can provide me with vegetarian meals only.

I’ll be back next week to cover more of this subject. See you then.