Thursday, May 15, 2014

Social Work in a nursing home,you're too fat

Available at:
Kindle edition

There is a book about Social Work in a nursing home that gives you details concerning MDS charting and much more technical information.  While that's nice, those are things you will be trained on while on the job.  What you cannot find in most books is how to really do a good job in a nursing home by having a good attitude about dealing with residents, coworkers and families, all of which you encounter on a daily basis.

Now while I do not fat discriminate, lord knows I too have struggled with weight, I do have a problem with large dietitians who will tell residents and families: "Mary Smith must lose weight and is being placed on a 1500 calorie a day diet."  The dietitian at the last nursing home I worked at, was telling us about a recent seminar she attended and was surprised that most of the dietitians attending were, in fact, very over weight.  The dietitian at our nursing home weighed around 120 pounds.  She asked how can anyone seriously take losing weight advice from fat people?  She has a good point.

Back when I was a nursing assistant, my class was taught by a nurse who was obese.  She told us: "This is how to lose weight.  You need to watch your calories and get your heart rate up enough to burn fat."  She was 250 pounds at the very least.  Seriously?  All of us in the class discussed that topic over lunch that day.

The VA has told my husband he needs to see a nutritionist about a sensible diet.  Many of us have been there.  While waiting for an appointment, we have been more active, eating more sensibly and our tummies are slowly melting away.  

Like many people I knew what and how we should be eating, I simply ignored it for too long.  I was a vegetarian for over 15 years in my younger days and weighed around 113 pounds for most of my adult life.  Once I got older, I decided to enjoy many foods I had denied myself and consequently, put on the pounds.  Most of us do know how we should eat, but do not always go there.  

As a Social Worker, you might encounter an over weight dietitian telling residents how to lose pounds.  It will be difficult when residents and families ask you how they can believe or take such advice from a person who is clearly not eating right.  "Physician heal thyself."  Comes to mind for me.