Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson invited himself to Carefree Manor for dinner Saturday.
The 5:30 p.m. visit was prompted after he read complaints on social media about the quality and quantity of food at the assisted living facility. The social media post suggested residents were not getting enough food to eat and couldn’t ask for more.
“I felt it was kind of necessary to reach out to the facility and see for myself,” Doerkson said.
“I spoke with both the owners who were very transparent in sharing menus and that all their dietary plans are put together by a dietician and they’re certainly making the best efforts. There’s good healthy food and plenty of it.”
Carefree Manor’s new general manager Alana Bucci took Doerkson on the tour of the facility where he got the chance to chat with several of the manor’s residents. Most residents said they did get enough to eat, but noted the manor tends to provide heavy meals for breakfast and lunch and a lighter meal for dinner, often consisting of a sandwich and salad.
Doerkson, who was served a turkey sandwich, fresh fruit and some custom jello with mandarin and whipping cream, said the tour went well.
“There does not seem to be a shortage of food here,” he said, adding residents also have mini-fridges and kettles in their rooms. “I think that there’s always merit to a complaint, so I’m not certain what happened specifically to start that complaint. When you look at the menu there’s no question there’s spaghetti, cordon bleu and all kinds of other meals.”
Bucci, a licensed practical nurse with 10 years of experience, said it was important for Doerkson to visit the manor, given the heated discussion on social media.
“It’s important to have Lorne come in and share as much as we can to clear the air and set the record straight. At the end of the day we’re all here for the residents,” Bucci said.
“This is their home and we work in their home. Whatever they need, we provide. For the amount of work, time, and honestly, the love we put in, those comments online are hurtful. They demean the work that we do here for the people we serve.”
The demand for one of Carefree Manor’s 35 units is high with a current waiting list of 18 months.