Nursing homes in the Ozarks scrambling for food, supplies

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 12:58 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 4:25 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Nursing homes in the Ozarks feel the impact of supply shortages.

Springfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center administrators said they had to jump through hoops and scramble to get food, but residents said they barely noticed. Troy Lacey, the Springfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center administrator, said they started to see shortages around a year ago. He says the past couple of months has been harsh.

Dieticians must scramble to make with what they get, and sometimes supplies send them whatever they have, even if it’s wrong. Lacey said they adapt for their residents.

“It’s frustrating to not be able to make a change or to get something they need,” said Lacey. “So that was when we really started looking at alternate things, alternative places to go.”

Lacey said the prices of everything have gone up, especially medical equipment, so they hope in a year, that will change.

“20 and 25% increase our overall food cost total food cost, the supplies, and nursing supplies have gone up probably another 20 to 25% as well,” said Lacey.

Lacey said the increased costs have been ongoing.

“Worries me quite a bit the costs,” said Lacey. “In getting things, we’ve had to substitute for several months, probably almost a year.”

Lacey said they’ve had to substitute foods when they can’t find what they need.

“We can’t get this type of chicken. We’ve had to substitute with fish. It’s been very challenging for the dietary staff to kind of come up with new menus and new meals,” said Lacey.

Nancy Miller said she and her other residents like their options.

“They give you a choice of one or two menus to choose from, and if you don’t like those, they give you a list of other options that you can have,” said Miller.

Miller said the hard work of the staff has not gone unnoticed.

“I’ve seen different, different workers, and everybody’s busy,” said Miller. “Everybody’s got their own job to do, and everybody does a good job.”

Lacey said they have put off improvements on their building because of the rising costs of materials, but he said residents wouldn’t have to pay more out of pocket for long-term care, and Miller is happy.

“I don’t know how to explain that. I’m just appreciative of everything they do,” said Miller. “They’d been Super to me.”

Lacey says they have returned to events and more visits, which he says is making this place a community again.

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