A Vancouver hospital is launching a meal plan to cater to the majority of their long-term residents, and it involves bok choy, fried rice and barbecued pork.
Ninety-five per cent of the long-term residents at Saint Joseph’s Hospital are Chinese and staff have been working with Sodexo food services to develop a traditional menu that will be a comfort to their patients.
Dishes now include sweet and sour pork, black bean fish and shrimp fried rice. They will also make pureed versions, so that all residents can enjoy the new food.
The hospital still serves their usual menu, but all patients, including ones not in long-term care, can choose to have the Chinese menu.
Sodexo has added a family style soup served once a week that is full of traditional herbs and ingredients, and made from recipes provided by residents.
All the dishes are still low in salt and fat to meet health guidelines.
“Food is the most important thing for long-term care residents here and that’s one thing they can have a sense of control over and a voice to tell us what they like and don’t like,” Sodexo spokesperson Cynthia Goertz said.
The new meal plan is getting rave reviews from patients, something rarely heard in hospitals.
Staff is working with residents at perfecting the recipes and chefs make changes as necessary.
They are also sharing the recipes with other institutions so that more people can benefit from the new program.
The cost to launch the program was $2,000, donated by a family through the Tapestry Foundation. There is no additional cost to run the program.
With files from Elaine Yong