Friday, February 25, 2011

* Un-Salad Days

Letter to the Editor
The Valley News

Dear Editor:

Recently a friend of mine told me of an experience she had with her 80 year-old-mother who is in a very respected nursing home in the Upper Valley

She had stopped by for a visit around supper time.  An attendant dropped off  the meal which consisted of an egg salad grinder as the primary course.  The  attendant departed after leaving the meal at bedside.  No one else came in to assist with the food. 

My friend concluded that had she not been there to help her mother with the grinder, the egg salad would have wound up all over her mother’s face and chest had she been left to fend for herself, as she apparently had been. Grateful to have averted this embarrassment to her mother, the  daughter eagerly helped  administer the food.

This nursing facility costs residents $10,000 a month.  If they are short staffed I would think they could put out a call to local churches  asking for volunteers to help patients with meal time. Disability and dwindling strength can be a challenge at any age, but in old age it  seems almost cruel. What has happened to society’s values that we so easily ignore the needs of the aged, even the basic needs like eating with dignity?

I hate to think of old folks  going hungry or spilling half of their meal on themselves because they have no one to help them  with their food at meal time.  And I have a vested interest in this: Every day I get a little bit older myself.

And by the way, for $10,000 a month I think we might do better than  egg salad for supper.

Paul D. Keane
Hartford Village

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