Before working for Medcall (Care On call sister company), one of my first jobs was working in a Kitchen at a Resthome and Hospital here in Tauranga. I was a Kitchen Hand, washing dishes even the cook dishes and preparing trolleys with trays and meal pre. I didn’t have much interaction with the residents, I learned a lot with their dietary requirements.
I was really good at cooking and sick of doing dishes, I decided to study Professional Cookery at BOP Polytechnic. After that I started cooking at a small Resthome in TGA in the weekends, I really enjoyed that and had lots of interactions with the residents and learn how much they loved their food and what they enjoyed eating.
The last place I worked at before joining Medcall was one place I really enjoyed working at, I loved the people and the resident. I got very attached to the residents and they become more than friends and when they passed it was very sad time (this is one of the reason why I never looked at doing caregiving).
Even though I didn’t plan the menu, I did recognize how much work goes into preparing these menus ensure the residents have their daily dietary requirements and also with ordering the groceries with fresh vegetables and fruit.
Time management was very important cause the resident had a daily routine so all meals had to be cooked and ready to be served in time.
The residents had different dietary requirements, not all residents could chew so it was important for the meat to be soft with plenty of gravy and flavor was important, to me I would cook the way I like my meals done or I would think of how my mother would like them and she was very fussy. Flavor and taste was the main factory with our resident meal and presentation as well. There were some residents that had to have puree meal, so they had the same meal as the other residents so they wouldn’t feel left out.
They didn’t like our fancy meals like what we have eg, lasagna, spag bolognaise, curries etc. They like their meat, vegies and potatoes with gravy. Friday was fish day so they would either have fish pie, fish and chips etc. and they also had a yummy dessert!! Dinner was pretty simple, there was always soup available with bread and jam, and something lite to eat with a plate of fruit.
Morning Tea and afternoon Tea was either crackers and cheese, cakes or muffins etc. They were feed really well and they so enjoyed their food. Especially when you see the smiles on their faces with their full bellies while they are at the dining room.