Do elderly people eat in a different way from when they were younger? My mother eats spilling a lot of her food on her blouse.

Asked by

My mother eats spilling a lot of her food on her blouse and her forkdroops down a lot; it's almost the way a young child would eat. I hope I am not being criticial, as that is not my intention, as I am just curious if this is common in elderly people. In addition, my mother gets worse every year about getting Christmas cards mailed before Christmas. This year she hardly got any cards written, and has almost no interest in doing it, even though I offered several times to help her. Is this common in the elderly?

Answers 1 to 4 of 4
Top Answer
Like everyone else, what is normal for one person may not be for another. Christmas cards though, I just dealt with! I took a stack of cards to my MIL in the rehab facility and told her that if she wanted to sign them that I would sit with her and her address book and I would address the envelopes and mail them for her. I didn't want the task to be daunting and exhausting for her, but I simply don't "sign" cards for people.
The eating manners are In Laws BOTH have begun to LICK their plates and bowls in public and hold utensils like shovels........we don't eat out much! Make some huge bibs, put her in the kitchen so you can mop the floor and let it go. Good luck to you.
Whitney, I have noticed at the asst living where my mother-in-law lives, most of the women are stooped over while eating. I'm sure osteoporosis is probably to blame, that and sagging boobs (I can relate) drag them further and further over. Most of what my grandma ate ended up on her 'shelf' as we called the boobage, and she sat pretty straight too. As far as Christmas cards are concerned, if your mother won't let you write them for her while she dictates, then maybe it's time to send them out yourself and explain that it's getting too hard for mom to send cards anymore. My mother-in-law just got a Christmas card from the son of one of the men her late husband used to fish with. Luckily my husband (her #3 son) remembered the last name of the fishing buddy, so we knew who sent the card. Getting old stinks big time. ♥
My mom's arthritis causes pain in her hands and a loss of flexibility. She likes to use the smallest utensils available for ease of use. Even so, she does spill a lot. It doesn't help that she is in a wheelchair and the arms of the chair often prevent her from pulling fully up to the table. When we dine at a restaurant with higher than usual tables - hurrah! Time for a round of soup!

She used to send out 60-70 Christmas cards a year. She loved it. When my father died of brain cancer in December 2010, she gave up on cards. I offered several times this year to address some for her and she just has no desire. It's tough when they give up on things that used to give them joy, but sometimes it's just the way the ball bounces.
NancyH, I don't know which is funnier - shelf or boobage? Thanks for the chuckle! :)

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support