Nursing Homes | White Plains Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Nursing Homes to Feed People as Residents, not Patients

Hospitals may be infamous for their poor selection of food choices, but nursing homes shouldn’t be. At least, that’s the position of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who have enacted regulations which will encourage nursing homes to provide residents much greater control over dietary choices.

Outside of nursing homes, we can eat what we want, even if it’s unhealthy. Doctors can recommend healthy alternatives, but we ultimately have the right to choose whether we eat bran cereal or ice cream.

Nursing home residents are often viewed as long-term hospital patients and are treated as such. But these patients are also residents, and their life in a home should be as close to their previous life as possible. Forcing them to eat according to strict dietary rules robs them of control over their own bodies and diminishes their quality of life.

Which isn’t to say dietary concerns aren’t important. They certainly should be taken into consideration. However, at the end of the day, food choices should be in the hands of residents.

Without a doubt, the regulations give nursing homes new burdens to bear. Providing a variety of flavorful and healthy choices. Moreover, CMS would like residents to have access to food throughout the day rather than just at scheduled meal times.

These changes can only help to attract new residents. No individual will choose a home serving  hospital food over one with restaurant dining. As homes move to this new approach, it makes sense for them to offer as many choices a possible to remain competitive.

This article in no way constitutes legal advice of any kind and should not be relied upon as such. If you need legal advice about this or any such matter, you should hire a competent attorney.

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  • Michael LaMagna, LNHA, MPA, JD concentrates in the areas of Medicaid and Advanced Asset Protection Planning, Elder Law, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Health Care Regulatory Matters, Nursing Home Placement, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Appeals, Social Security/SSI Litigation and Special Needs Law. If you have a question for Mr. LaMagna, please call him at (914) 437-5955.