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I'm gonna Rant Now...G-Ma

Updated on February 11, 2011

Normally I am a quiet, old woman caring for my demented Mother. I take her food I puree' everyday, mostly salad cause she likes that and actually doesn't get a lot of roughage and she needs it. I also make her other things she likes.

The facility she is at is really very good and actually the director has been Director of the year for 3 years in a row and is up for # 4. She is a caring lady and her mother died from this disease , she has been a caregiver herself before she took this job. This facility has caregivers that have been there for anywhere from 10 years to 10 months and are really pretty good. I have gotten to know them quite well since I am there often.

 I began bringing in foods I made after falling and breaking her hip. Mom spent 104 days in first the hospital then the nursing home and me and my sister were there everyday 10-12 hours a day , making sure she was fed. She is defenseless, at this stage and can not talk (much) and is totaling dependent on help for everything. Alzheimer's Disease is horrible.

Anyway this rant is about the food they serve where she now is. It is actually very good, they have 3 different types that go by the season and as long as you are able to eat regular food it is very enjoyable. However hers must be puree'd as others must be.

One day when the food nutritionist from the Corporation was there she saw me feeding mom my food and asked me what it was. I was, at the time un-aware who she was and said "salad, she needs roughage and doesn't get much here" I have to admit since then it seems they are receiving more now.

But today I was horrified. On her plate was the usual Friday night meal, fish, spuds and tonight salad???? As I looked at the other meals it was a cabbage salad, good, hers was this cosmos green color,it was cabbage salad like the others, but why so green? I tasted it, as I always do, if she is to eat this I surely can? Tasted good, but the color was awful. I questioned it and the caregiver went into the kitchen to see why it was this color. The answer was "we put food coloring in it". So I did not feed it to her, why would you add food coloring? and fortunately I had made her a salad.

To make her salads more green I add Arugula, or spinach. Always with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion's (small amounts) grated carrots and a dressing.

Okay so later this day was the Family Group meeting they have every month and so I asked about this salad and the food coloring added to it. Answer, from the director of this facility, winner of 3 awards, was "well the nutritionist told us to add color to make it look more like salad, keep the colors good". At first I just accepted this answer then as the day went by I got more and more pissed off. Why in the world would a true nutritionist say such a thing?

Why would she being part of this corporation even think that? Oh please the cost of lettuce is not that much. The effects of fake coloring could be bad. These poor souls are at our mercy, and this is my Mother. I am about to write to the corporation, may send them this hub. It is so un-believable that they can't afford a few more greens to make the salad look greener. We live in a town with 5-6 Organic farmers that supply many restaurants with Organic foods, we have 2 organic bakeries that supply the same and for the $7,000 dollars they suck out of my mom's insurance they can't afford more then food colors????..,.

I am PISSED OFF. Thanks again for listening to me...I know if I can just help others that are going through this I may feel better...GOD BLESS...:O) Hugs G-Ma


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    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Joy 56...Thank you...I actually have quite a collection now of photo's of the two of us together, which I have proudly tried to do. She is a dear person and must be cared for. God Be with you my dear...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Lady G..I did I wrote a long letter to the corporations head Nurse, with a diagram about the bad effects of food dyes...Did I get an answer? NO WAY, and this was six weeks ago now.

      However I must admit I have not seen anymore dyed foods come out and I am there for at least one meal a day sometimes two if possible... and more salads are served too...God Bless...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Joy56 profile image


      7 years ago

      First thing i have to say is, what a beautiful picture of you and your mum, treasure it always, Your mum is so lucky to have you, keep complaining, til you have everything you want for her..... Believe it or not, we love families like you, we love it as caregivers when families do everything they can to look after their mum or dad, and make sure they have everything they want, love and hugs.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      7 years ago from West By God

      What happened to natural? Look what they have on the TV about food colorings making ADHD kids worse. Back in the 70's they found red food coloring to cause cancer. Do they forget? I am so glad that you got upset. It is people like us who do choose to speak up that make a difference for the better. I am on your side. You go girl!!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      LADYJOJO...Thank you dear for commenting and she is a sweet woman, my mom...:O) Hugs G-Ma

      MICKY DEE...Well it sure is in poor taste when you hear a corporate head talk like this....I was furious...:O) Hugs and Thanks my dear God be with you...G-Ma

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      "Why in the world would a true nutritionist say such a thing?" Nutritionist? With a nutritionist like this she won't need any enemies! Maybe enemas! I don't really mean this as a joke. It could be taken both ways but it ain't funny. This unnatural approach to "nutrition" is absurd! God bless your mom! God bless You!

    • ladyjojo profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a wonderful hub about you caring for your mummy. Showing her the love she needs at this juncture in her life.

      God will bless you for your great work, you look like your mum a lot.

      Wonderful picture you just keep doing good and all will be well. I wish her speedy recovery.


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That response she gave made no sense at all. Thank God you are there for her

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      tnderhrt23..Thank you dear..I wrote to their headquarters but guess what? No answer yet and I don't expect one..well yes i do but probably won't get one...:O) Hugs G-ma

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      God bless you G-Ma... Give em hell! I would be mad too! You and your mama are in my thoughts and prayers!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Wesman, I am sorry to hear this and also proud of you for visiting her. It is a lonely place and so under staffed.

      when my Mother was in the nursing home, after breaking her hip, my sister came to help me and we were there everyday for 104 days as I think I already said...but we made food at home everyday and brought it to her...I firmly believe we were a good part of why she is still here.

      In a 2 week time she had lost over 8 lbs and for a woman that age is NOT good. Don't be afraid to do that, we just told the nurses what we brought and what she ate. And water do get her to drink as much as you can.

      Also watch the meds they are very constipating and boy did we have a problem.

      Yes you don't want to eat for her but you certainly are entitled to bring outside food IN for her as long as you know about any restriction she may have.

      Think I will send you this by e-mail...You are a dear...:O) Hugs G-Ma Pats you on the back, good job.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas


      I don't go every day, but I go at least every other day to see my last grandparent in the nursing home.

      She'd fell in the hospital, actually; and that's why she's in the nursing home. My poor grandmother is a little bit nuts these days, but sometimes she thinks I'm very amusing, and so I like to go see her.

      I can't complain about food being valued so much in my family, but it is. My grandmother feels a lot of shame for the food that they bring her that she's not hungry enough to eat. She'll try to guilt me into eating her food, etc; but the nurses are keeping track of whether or not she is finishing her plates, so me eating her food would throw off their data.


      Can't win for losing.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free


      That is the point Poison our elderly with dementia...I swear...and No one where my mom is has complained, it's the corporation smart asses that think this will help...Money and making things appear better then they are is their game....GRRRRRRRR Thanks for commenting...:O) Hugs G-ma

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image


      7 years ago from new delhi

      maybe they r putting it in so that more people eat it. some may be complaining it is not gren enuf so not eating it but heavens!!!!! color?????? it is poison.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      G-Ma I can totally understand why you would pissed. That sounds absolutely insane! Why not just add greens instead of adding food coloring?! Very strange!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Thanks everyone...they will be hearing from me...

      and @ SALLY..THANKS FOR THE LEAD ABOUT NATURAL FOOD COLORING very good hub, am going to forward this to The Corporation as well as the facility...

      wish me luck...I am on my way...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • justom profile image


      7 years ago from 41042

      Good for you. I think those places get by with a lot of crap because no one cares enough to speak up. It's bullshit and they know it but if everyone remains silent nothing changes. Good luck with your mission Merle Ann. Peace and love!! Tom

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      7 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I would absolutely have a fit if I had found out they were using food coloring at this type or any other facility where patients or clients were being fed, especially if they were my family members.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      As in my book, having worked nursing homes, this is typical and it is nothing unusual. It's a bad practice which I questioned all the time, but of course to no avail. The hierarchy in nursing homes is: "You do what the corporation or owner says, no questions." Bad, bad idea, but too many run that way. I'd be pissed too and as a paying customer, you should be listened to.

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      There's an excellent article here on HP about making natural food colorings:

      You might want to share that article with the facility, too.

      I can understand the nutritionist's wanting to make the food more appealing, but not at the risk of using artificial food colorings.

      As Eiddwen said, your mom is one of the lucky ones to have you look after her.

      G-Ma, that's a wonderful picture of you and your mom, a testament to love and caring.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for bringing to light this sad but sadly oh so common story.

      I cannot quote figures but there was an item on our Welsh News stating how many elderly people had died from malnutrition and dehydration in the past five years here in Wales alone!!!!

      It's horrendous and scandalous to think that so many of these people will have worked hard all their lives and probably caring for others as well to end up being looked after (or more aptly not looked after!!) in this way in our care homes!!!

      I admire you for publishing this hub and keep up the good work. At least you mum is one of the lucky ones that she has you to look out for her!!!

      Take care,


    • VioletSun profile image


      7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I too would be upset, doesn't make sense to choose food coloring to make food look greener as vegetables are cheap. :::rolling eyes here:::::

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      7 years ago

      That is quite shocking - adding food colour to make it look more green?!! I can well understand your ire, G-ma!


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