It was a visitor who noticed the elderly resident's heartbreaking reaction to the pathetic meal they were served during the holidays.
The holidays are a time to indulge yourself in good food and the company of those who love you. For some, many who are living in the hospice or nursing homes, spending time with family is not really a possibilty because they may no longer be with their family. The only comfort they perhaps have, is the festive food on their plate for Christmas dinner. But for the residents of one nursing home in Australia, the meal was far from festive, and perhaps even a reminder of the loneliness they might be feeling during the holidays.
Vales Nursing Home in Adelaide, Australia, was at the receiving end of massive flak after a photo of a sad Christmas meal being served to the residents, surfaced. A visitor spotted a resident weeping over a rather untidy meal of baked beans and mashed potatoes and sent a photo to the local politician Nat Cook.
#auspol #agedcare #Scomomustgo— Gaye Crispin (@GayeCrispin) December 26, 2019
if it's true then we have a fox in charge of this hen house
Despicable and appalling .... capitalism at it's ugly greedy self-serving worst
Christmas lunch for our elders courtesy of #LNP and Vales Nursing Home in South Australia#FireMorrison https://t.co/ceRVuv7COL pic.twitter.com/CCpvtsUVWP
The nursing home started facing heavy online criticism after the photo was shared by many on Twitter. It shows two clumps of mashed potato over a curry of baked beans smeared untidily on the plate. After being sharply questioned, the home stated that while it is a poorly presented meal, it was not for Christmas, as per Mail Online.
Through her statement, Cook implied that while this meal is "awful" it is highly inappropriate on Christmas. "This is a particularly awful looking plate of food on any day, but on Christmas..." she said.
The visitor who reported the issue and Ms. Cook highlighted the sadness of the resident after being served the underwhelming meal. "The poor dear was sobbing in her room with what she had been served to eat, in her room and alone," the visitor said.
Ms. Cook said she had spoken to staff at the home and with chief executive Neil Pahuja. Vales' parent company All Care Aged Care said the meal was not the resident's Christmas lunch and likely served as a light evening meal. However, they did admit that the meal was "very poorly presented."
"We will definitely investigate If the posted image was served as an evening meal alternative and immediately ensure such meals even as a lighter meal are served in a far more appetising way," it said.
@B6219 posted Xmas lunch (baked beans) pic being served at The Vales nursing home (Morphett Vale, SA). If accurate, it's appalling. Vales' website tells another story about meals/nutrition (see right). Food quality is rated 2/5 https://t.co/DVmtMchZBd. Aged care RC on holiday? pic.twitter.com/vcuRkhvkUu— Sandi Logan (@SandiHLogan) December 26, 2019
"We serve approximately 185,000 meals a year and expect all to be of a high standard. We are monitoring the matter closely to ensure no lack in presentation or quality in food occurs at any stage," it added.
However, Debra Mathews, who said she was a Vales staff member of 13 years has a different story to tell. She said the main Christmas meal was served on Christmas Eve. Nonetheless, the poorly served meal during the holidays has drawn people's attention towards the low quality of food that is served in old age homes.