Food in Ohio Nursing Homes

Food in Ohio nursing homesFood complaints are among the most common complaints in Ohio nursing homes. Patients look to food for comfort throughout the day, and can easily made to be feel distressed if the food situation is not right.

Ohio nursing home patients rely on their care providers to give them the best possible food. But there are many times when that is not the case.

Malnutrition is only one potential problem with the delivery of food to nursing home patients. There are actually positive tasks that every managed care facility in Ohio needs to engage to properly care for their patients. Anything short of this may constitute abuse, or may be a clue that there is an abusive situation going on.

Among the responsibilities for food delivery to their patients, Ohio nursing home facilities are responsible for these factors:

  • All meals must meet recommended dietary allowances for each person, based upon age and sex;
  • At least three meals should be served daily, at a regular time, with not more than a 14-hour span between a substantial evening meal and breakfast;
  • Menus for the current week should be posted in the dining room or other public place;
  • Hot foods should be served hot and cold foods should be served cold;
  • Meals should be served in an appetizing and sanitary fashion;
  • Supplemental fluids and special nourishments should be provided if ordered by the physician;
  • The facility must provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health;
  • Based upon a resident’s comprehensive assessment, the facility needs to ensure that a resident (1) maintains acceptable, measurable signs of nutritional status, such as body weight and protein levels, unless the resident’s clinical condition demonstrates that this is not possible; and (2) receives a therapeutic diet where there is a nutritional problem;
  • Nutritious snacks should be offered several times daily;
  • Food should be served cut, ground, chopped, pureed, or in another manner which meets a patient’s specific needs;
  • Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes must consider your personal preferences. If the patient refuses the food, he or she should be offered a substitute with similar nutritional value.

The Ohio nursing home facility’s physician is responsible for identifying any special dietary needs that a patient may have. The nursing home must have a dietary or food services supervisor in charge of meal preparation who meets state training requirements. The food services supervisor should be a trained dietician.

If a nursing home patient needs a special diet, that has to be provided. The doctor will need to prescribe a special diet and give it to the food services supervisor. The food services supervisor may also be able to assist with arranging a special diet directly.

Nursing homes are required to assist patients who need help being fed. This assistance should be provided at the time meals are served so that hot food is still hot and cold food is still cold. The nursing home should ensure that you eat a sufficient amount of food to meet your nutritional needs. If you can feed yourself but need supervision, adequate supervision should be provided regardless of whether you eat in the dining room or your own room.

Good nutritional and fluid intake are very important to the elderly and those with illnesses. If a nursing home patient has complaints about food, meal service or special dietary concerns, bring them to the attention of the Food Services Supervisor. If this does not bring he necessary changes, take your complaints to the administrator of the home.

If these actions do not result in acceptable responses, please contact us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer or send us a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

Learn more about nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect in Ohio by visiting

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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3 Comments on “Food in Ohio Nursing Homes”

  1. Krystin Roske Says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.


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