How do you prepare meals for elders when what they like to eat changes day to day?

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NS:

Don't forget some medications make everything you eat taste like dirt, so ask him/her what the food tasted like after every meal. Good luck.

-- ED
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NS:

Planning the meals -- balanced, of course -- with whomever you're feeding should reduce the complaining. Start by making a list of all the things they like to eat. You might end up with a heart attack on a plate, for it's the grease that makes so many dishes taste so good. Whatever you concoct, should taste AND look appetizing.

Let the individual be part of the solution -- and his/her overall well-being. If this doesn't work, ask if he/she has enough money. If the answer is yes, hand the person a phone and a Cantonese menu to order whatever suits his/her fancy. ... This might seem a bit extreme, but it actually teaches the individual to be grateful for the food he/she's receiving. It might not be manna to the palate, but at least they're not starving.

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime."

-- ED
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Hi--I experienced this as well-but as a 2ndary caregiver...Having a back up plan sounds to me like an excellent idea. If Your Mom's lack of eating does persist-I would speak with her neurologist-for ideas, as everyone is different with the way they handle AD. Two very good supplements that I would reccommend are Boost or Ensure..Be aware of the fact with dementia/Alzheimer's the ability to express yourself-becomes diminshed. Roles have reversed now.
Best on your caregiving journey.
Hap
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i'm having the same problem, i can't get her to eat any veggies. Rice and gravy, grits and eggs, and gumbo soup if i make it and it all come down to the aroma. she will say something sure smell good. she could just have whatever it is a few days ago and when i tell her what it is, she will say, i have not had that in a long time. oh don't forget he sweets, she needs that ice cream before bed time, as she say it makes her sleep.
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It is so frustrating to feed someone when they show no interest or appetite. Since you just want to get anything you can into them, grazing, or feeding them small frequent meals may be a better approach than 3 big meals a day.

As a nurse, many times I would make milkshakes with milk, or ensure, ice cream and even carnation instant breakfast to increase the calorie count.
Have snacks around- anything that they will eat- salty or sweet snacks - it they do not have a medical condition that limits either of those. There comes a time, when quality of life is important, and you need to encourage them to eat or drink what ever it is they want.

Finger foods are ofter things that are good- or comfort foods- puddings, soups, fruit.

Diane Carbo
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Barring any medical problems, my mother (who also had Alzheimer's) would LOVE something one day, and then turn it away the next. I always had a backup meal ready, and almost always had something 'stewing' in a small crock pot, just to keep some GOOD AROMAs in the house. If I wasn't baking bread, it was something in the oven, or something in the small (safe) crock pot.

I have found that my mother would not be interested in food she couldn't smell COOKING before she ate it. Although I used my microwave plenty of times, I also would 'cook up' something on the stove (even just some onions or garlic and peppers) so the house was filled with (Italian) aromas. Mom didn't eat the onions or garlic, but to her that was the basis for most meals she used to cook as a wife and mother. Homemade pasta sauce was another 'aroma' around the house, so we would simmer up a batch, while watching the food channel.

Sounds like this is alot of work, but it really wasn't. Putting a small roast in the oven (that I could lock) or something in the crock pot (a small one remember) was easy to do, even if it was just an apple and some brown sugar and cinnamon).

I am sure there are 'flavors and aromas' from your mothers past that will trigger the 'mmmmm..I'm hungry memory section of her brain'. Food, scents and aromas are deeply ingrained. Try to tap into those feelings and see if that helps!

God Bless.
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Hi , I have learned and read their taste buds and smell are the first to go so they like SWEETS a lot. I buy all different kinds of cereals, chex,cheerios,trix,etc... and mix them all together, then bag them up so I can dip into it with a cup. I give them to her on a plain plate, so she can see them, and see how her appetite is. If its good, I make more of a meal, if not, I make her toast or a muffin, or a frozen meal and separate it on her plate for her to pick at. I also put M&M's in with the cereal so every few bites she gets sweets and keeps her eating. Cereal bars, water melon, cantelope, apple pieces, or ensures are good to keep on hand all ready. Freeze your leftovers in small plates so you can microwave them up if she seems hungry. Her dr said since she isnt diabetic, dont worry about the sweets, at her age, let her eat whatever she wants. good luck, hope this helped a bit.
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Do you know why your mother has stopped eating? Many elderly people have decreased sense of smell or taste that causes them to not want to eat. The reason could be medications. Or they could have depression, or even problems with chewing. If you can get to the bottom of why your mother isn't eating, you might be able to address that problem - perhaps even with her doctor.
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