casa2869 Asked July 2010

My mother is obsessed with food and what she will be eating for her My mother is obsessed with food and fears that she will be starved to death. How do I deal with her behavior and reassure her she will eat?

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My mother is obsessing with food and what she will eating for lunch and dinner while in the nursing home. She has been in a nursing home with a broken foot. She complains about the food that is served and worries that she will starve to death. She is supposed to return home tomorrow and I wonder if this behavior is temporary or is this the beginning of some OCD. She also has low sodium levels and is on fluid restriction. Could this be related?

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jeannegibbs Aug 2012
parkygirl, I'd give Dad what he wants to eat, too. Maybe without making a fuss about it I'd try to get in a little fruit/vegetable choice. Might he try pudding with peach slices? How about beverages? Do you offer apple juice, orange juice, V-8, etc.? All you can do is offer!
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parkygirl Aug 2012
Having the same issues with my Dad- Lives at home, 93 years old, 24/7 home health aides. All he will eat is fried eggs, sausage links, and Crunch and Munch and some pudding. Used to be a diverse eater and had a huge sweet tooth- No more.
He gets hostile if we try to coax other food so we just give in.
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castoff Jul 2010
Pirate,
Could you try......"Hey mom I brought us a treat!" next time you see her & you could both have an applesauce or yogurt together for fruit?
Sometimes it's the way you present it.
My mom will often go along with something if I present it as if it's special for her and share the thing with her.
My hubby used to get our 85 lb. doberman to eat grapes & bananas when he romanced it enough. Funny how we remember and parallel these things later in life.
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FyreFly Jul 2010
I don't know how workable it is in your situation, but you might just honestly discuss the food situation with her - ask what kinds of foods she is afraid she will miss. If there is something you can 'sneak" in ... like a soda or a candy bar, why not tell her you'll bring her a treat when you come? If she just doesn't like the food being offered, she can often request a snack - popsicle, apple juice, crackers. Find out what she wants, and ... tell her you'll bring it! Can't hurt.
~FyreFly
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PirateGal Jul 2010
Well she probably is not too off about what they serve either. My mom is decling more rapidly lately and she does not hardly eat anyting...so I don't know what the heck theyou would feed her if she has to finally go to the nursing home. She is spoiled on her coffee and eggs and toast and macaroni and cheese and meatloaf. She won't eat anything else....fruits and vegetables she will not eat anymore...sigh!
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casa2869 Jul 2010
Yes, mother had a terrible bout of hyponeutremia several years ago. After surgery, got down to 114. This latest episode, she was 120 and was admitted. They only did fluid restriction this time. She is on sodium tabs now with fluid restriction. She is better now that she is home. However, her base probably won't be much higher than 130. Thank you for your response.
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castoff Jul 2010
That would be electrolyte levels, which also include potassium.
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castoff Jul 2010
YES it certainly is.
Low sodium can make them delerious & dillusional / obsessive.
Assuming they treated her with IV sodium to bring it up (135 is ideal) (has to be done slowly) she should be getting better. Low sodium is dangerous and can kill. Investigate it on the web.
Get some gatorade (low calorie G2 if she is diabetic) and get her to drink some daily. Less water. It's quite complex...the thyroid, kidney and medications for BP may be involved.
Try to push the salty foods if you can. A little bloating may result but it's better than death. This is nothing to be messed with.
Try to get the levels checked every 3 months until it's well maintained.
God bless.
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