thousands of dollars a month in rent and $4.00/day budget for food in elderly communities- shameful


What are the budgets for food in your very expensive elderly communities. Well it varies but it isn't much. $4.00 to $6.00 a day per person for those meals.  That's right three meals a day; even on the high end that is $2.00/meal. Is that a good diet for those who are paying thousands to live in these communities? And in long term care ? Assisted living? Independent Living?

A post from 2013 from Ask -  from Joe Starr who has been in  eldercare healthcare for 20 years.

"Yes, most skilled facilities utilize a formula called PPD:  Per Person Daily.I believe my Dietary manager told me a few months ago he had $4.01 per person daily.  This means he has$ 284.00 to feed 71 (if that's how many people we have) each day.Now, you take that figure, and multiply it by 30- a month's worth of food, out of which he orders monthly items such as napkins, coffee, bowl covers and such, and from what is left, he divides that by 4.5 (the average number of weeks in a month) so he knows what he has to work with for his weekly menus.  There are trade-offs and switcheroos-  if he has a big can of pineapple and a yellow cake mix in dry storage already, he may scratch out the Devil's food with chocolate icing dessert on Wednesday's menu and substitute pineapple upside down cake, same type dessert.  Thanksgiving is coming up, which is a HUGE meal for our Facility, and so he's been buying things a bit at a time so he doesn't blow the whole budget on one meal in November.Very few Corporate-owned skilled facilities have a more generous budget.  Unless the majority of their clientele are private pay, $4-5 a day each is about average.  All foods possible are ordered through Sysco and a few other distributors, and we have a Safeway card for emergencies like we ran out of burger buns on sloppy joe night. He is also not allowed to order certain Sysco products, at all, such as shrimp cocktail or lambchops or sirloin steaks.  Our company doesn't do expensive."

I recently came across an independent community that has a budget of $3.50/day per resident. The average rental there is $3200/month. Includes the meals. Most of the meals are repetitive with hot dogs and beans casserole as a main dish for dinner or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Let's not forget the ham salad that perhaps can feed 10 people from a few slices of ham and mayonnaise whipped up in the blender a favorite in long term care.

How about  a long term care facilities that charges hundreds of dollars a day  in our state.  Daily amounts of-$350.00 to $450.00 /day room and board. Do you think perhaps something other than ham salad sandwich or a small chicken leg once in a while is adequate for paying over $13,000 per month for room and board? It would seem to me that in a 5 star hotel you would get filet mignon daily along with a pleuthera of other great choices to eat. Oh let's see you do have nursing for 24 hours per day. But do those who don't meet the qualifier of having a "skill" in order to have medicare pay the bill need a nurse for 24 hours?? What are the nurses doing. Medication management. Yup that's it. Mostly LPN's in the community that deliver medications. (please I don't need a million responses from LPN's to tell me how great they are this isn't anything other than facts here)

Alternatives to long term care are those communities that you privately pay for ranging from $2800 per month up to $10,000 per month.  There are 92 licensed communities in Connecticut some owning more than one community. Benchmark now the largest with 17 communities last count.

Long term care facilities range from $350.00/$450.00/day which is $13,500/month for sometimes a shared room of three or four in a room and not very pretty facilities.  There are many more convalescent homes in Connecticut and all are competing to fill those beds and those units.  

Who cares?? Well I think the residents care but little is said by them as most are from a generation of not complaining.  I have a resident in one of those private pay memory care units that cost over $10,000/month. She has gained over 22 lbs in a  year from the "junk" that is fed to her. Stale bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, store bought cakes recycled from one meal to the next and sweet sugary cheap juices.  That's the diet you get for paying thousands a month for. I can't say the care is much better and have had to scramble with management that changes frequently to be sure she is attended to.

Most of us don't know that the budgets for food are so low. I know I didn't until I heard one of the managers complain about the food. He said "they don't care, we mention it often and they say they have chef's when their actually cooks. People with little training who come in and have no idea how to make a meal. That's what you get when your paying someone $11.00/hr." He also said they are dictated what they make and are limited to a budget of two to three hundred dollars a month to feed all these people (70 last count) and they try to make it stretch. Often not having the items on the menu that have already been printed.

So to all of those owners out there checking on your stats on a daily basis of how much money is coming in and how the sales are going. What exactly are you eating for dinner????