Shara has been a nursing assistant at Golden Manor Nursing Home for three years. One of the most pleasant parts of Shara’s day is serving and assisting residents with their meals. Although all the residents need different levels of help while eating, mealtime is always a great time to socialize with residents. Shara loves listening to their stories, and occasionally she hears a joke too.
Today, she starts lunch with Mr. Smith, who has limited hand movement due to his arthritis. He has difficulty cutting his food, so Shara cuts his chicken. She makes sure to cut the food into small pieces, which are easier to chew and lessen the risk of choking. Then, she gives him a special fork that has a wide handle. The handle is also bent, so he doesn’t need to bend his wrist while eating. Shara sits with Mr. Smith long enough to make sure he is eating well, and then she walks around the dining room to see if any other residents need help.
Shara knows it’s important for residents to stay hydrated. As she walks around the dining room, she refills residents’ water cups and offers fresh coffee. Shara notices that Mrs. Roth isn’t eating, so she sits down and asks Mrs. Roth if there is anything wrong with the food. Mrs. Roth says she has pain every time she tries to bite. Shara offers to replace Mrs. Roth’s uneaten chicken with some cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, and then Shara writes herself a note to report her observations of Mrs. Roth to the nurse.
Many residents in the dining room use assistive devices that can make eating easier. For example, some residents use special cups. One side of the cup is lower than the other side, which makes drinking and swallowing easier. Other residents use plate guards around their plates to prevent food from falling on the table.
When the residents finish their meals, the nursing assistants serve dessert. Today, residents have two choices: strawberry Jell-O or popsicles. Because Mr. Smith has a sweet tooth, he asks for both.