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One of my very old clients is not getting enough to eat and not enough early in the day. She needs more protein and less sugary items IMO. In most situations, I am responsible for buying food. But not in this case. The son has been slow to respond to my concerns
My hourly rate is high enough so that buying extra food will not be a financial problem in the short term. But I would like to know what others recommend in this situation. Thank you for your advice.

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When i did private duty, the family i worked for gave me a credit card with small limit. I was responsible for all the shopping and meals. Since i was mon- fri i would leave meal schedule for weekend caregivers. I would leave my receipts for DIL to match to statement. It was the perfect system. Totally stress free for everyone involved.
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And some of them are great gardeners too. David Austin's roses are magnificent. Sighhh....
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Yes, and many of the great chefs are men. They are good at lots of things.
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In all fairness to the gents here on the forum, I don't know too many women who change the spark plugs or oil in their cars, or tune up the engines. I do joke about men in the grocery store; I'll bet they joke about women in man caves and car supply stores.

We both have our strong points, I guess that's because we come from different planets as the pundits write.
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Freqflyer, funny! My parents were the same way. Mom ran the kitchen. Dad was clueless. I still see guys in the grocery aisles on their cellphones calling their wives or girlfriends totally perplexed.
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AD, good advice and good plan.

YogaGirl, good idea to get a gift card to avoid the hassle with paying for groceries.
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Believe me no one is born knowing how to cook or shop for groceries. I think that some men find grocery shopping boring so they come home with junk... same with cleaning or laundry, just make a mess of it and the women in their lives will roll their eyes and take over the chores. Clever, huh? No wonder so many of us are doing 90% of the housework :P

My Dad was that way, I remember he would follow Mom with the grocery cart going down the same aisles of the same grocery stores for 25 years, yet if you sent him to the store he couldn't find anything.
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I bought dad's caregiver a gift card to a big grocery chain in a modest amount. Just in case I forget something she picks it up and never needs to spend her own money.
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After everyone's encouragement, I decided to be straightforward. No more low-fat meals--wake up to her weight loss. Told the son how to use the bathroom scales & told DIL to buy a digital scale.
Now I will enlist the Monday caregiver to help me. She does not feel competitive with me. The T, Thurs caregiver is sneaky and acts like she is in charge. I hate competition about caregivers, even though I am good at what I do.
I do believe that men need more guidance in what to buy. And I will tell him what he needs to buy. I have a brain and a heart; I am going to use them together in this case.
Stay tuned. Keep sending me advice--I need it.
Thanks a zillion!!!
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Good idea to confide in the attorney; he/she could bring in APS if necessary, but will have it on record that you've had concerns about this woman.

I've had a bad feeling about this situation.

After seeing what so many apparent bachelors put on the checkout counter, I do think there are a lot of men who don't know how to shop or cook. For all we know he might be giving her chips, pretzels and beer.
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These are great suggestions. I liked the suggestion of the sliders; they would be an easy additon to her diet. I agree that buying food is the same as unpaid time. However, I will continue to buy her real food until this situation is resolved. Right now she gets disgusting Mom's Meals, which are free through the District of Columbia's Office of the Aging. But I would not feed that food to my dog; the quality and appearance is just awful.
I have already documented what I observed when I saw her everyday last week. Today I made a list of suggestions for the DIL. I suggested that the DIL and I could cook real food for this lovely woman. I was straightforward with the daughter about what needed to be done for her MIL.
The family and I have the same eldercare attorney. So if this situation does not improve, then I will confide in the attorney.
Based on another conversation, I wonder if the son doesn't know what to do. I guess that is the reason for experienced and knowledgeable caregivers, like yourselves.
I am very grateful for your suggestions. Caregiving can be lonely. Thanks
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I think NY DIL's suggestion to start a document trial is an excellent idea. This situation could go south very quickly and you want to make sure that you and your workers aren't blamed for what might be the son's actions.
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What if you bought the food for her and left him the receipt? Are you corresponding with the son in person, over the telephone, or over email?

My experience is most men are not great grocery shoppers. Years ago when my FIL did the grocery shopping when MIL no longer could, he came home with juice, milk, bread, jam, cookies, crackers, muffins, potato chips, and ice cream. He did this a few times before I took over the grocery shopping and started cooking and freezing their meals.

I think you need to look at the bigger picture here. If the son is not responsive then that's a red flag. The son could just be overwhelmed or in denial but I think it would be wise to start documenting your attempts at getting your client better food. And I think you should be reimbursed for food you buy for her.
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I was thinking about this last night after we exchanged messages. I really think this has to do with the son; perhaps he's rationing her food, skimping, or doesn't know how to shop or buy nutritious foods.

Since your rate allows purchasing some food, I would do that, even if you have to get some good quality frozen dinners which either your staff or your client could microwave (if she's capable). Leave smaller dinners such as sides, or maybe something hearty (but too high in fat, unfortunately) like a pot pie. Those kinds of foods can really fill someone up.

I wouldn't normally recommend fast foods (especially from some food chains) but Arby's does have "sliders" of roast beef, corned beef, ham or something else I've forgotten. They're small sandwiches on a bun, but the beef is lean and has never been fatty. If the woman doesn't have to worry about sodium, it might be something she could snack on. These little mini sandwiches are really filling, and tasty.

Perhaps you could approach this issue by asking the son to give you a list or planned menu, since you want to begin purchasing foods for her to alleviate any burden on him, as well as to address the apparent gorging situation. If he'll tell you what he buys, you can tell whether or not he's giving her nutritious or adequate meals.

Good luck on this, and congratulations for persevering.
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Is this the same lady that was supposedly overeating? It is no wonder she consumes everything in sight if she is truly hungry or subconsciously afraid the food will not be available later. How tragic.

The twin to this is staying extra unpaid hours because the employer doesn't allow enough time to get the job done. Unfortunately often the extra effort is not acknowledged, in fact it seems to become expected if it goes on long enough.
That said caregivers are in this line of work because they care. Doing it would be a good deed.

I like the idea of a shopping list for the son. And nutritional supplements like boost or ensure were made for people like this woman. I know it is not "real food", but they can really make a difference when extra calories are needed.
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Well, the goal should obviously be to educate the son on how important nutrition is to his senior mom without losing your job.

Hard to understand how her son could refuse to buy select items you suggest when you're the one feeding her.

Have you tried, "Can you pick up some chicken thighs, eggs and cottage cheese next time you're at the store? If you'd like me to stop on my way home to get them, I'd gladly do that."
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