My mom is going on 88 yrs of age. She lives one mile away. My husband travels during the week - so my meals are healthy but just snacks or small as I do not usually fix a full blown dinner. I am trying to save myself the additional stress (in caring for my mom) to take on making she has a healthy meal every day - mostly because if I deliver it - then she wants me to stay 2-3 hours and it is a real time sink - which causes more stress. We do visit 2-3 times a week - I have had such a difficult time with her whinning and negativity at times that if this wasn't the case - I would spend more time with her. We take her to the grocery store - and she buys a lot of groceries and then she really lacks the interest in preparing anything but eggs and/or cereal for breakfast and soup for dinner. I thought maybe I could try meals on wheels for a month and see how it goes. She is against everything that costs a nickel - but maybe if the meals were good - she could try and be in favor of it. Does anyone know if the meals are good? A few years ago I would visit a neighbor in another area and she received meals on wheels - but the cooking was bland or she said not the great. Thought I would ask what other's experiences have been. I can tell she is not eating properly. She has always been slender and she says she wants to keep herself slender. But the lack of one substantial wholesome meal a day - I can tell - she seems to be showing more frality. I'm taking her to the doctor this Monday to check her nutritional state. She eats breakfast at 2-3pm (she likes that) and then says she is full for the rest of the day?? When I bring her a meal she is happy to eat it. When she visits us for dinner - she will say don't give her much because she has no appetite - so we fill the plate and tell her to eat what she wants - and usually she eats it all. Thanks

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You don't mention if she has incipient dementia or not.

The denial about signs of dementia is almost epidemic. Doctors do not screen for it.

You might try to find out what elder services there are in your community. A life saver for me in the early years of my mother's dementia was adult day care. There was a little bus that came and picked her up at 8 in the morning and dropped her off at 4. I also built a room onto my house and then found someone to trade rent for "mommy care". That worked out well for 2 years.

See if there is a local senior center with community bus to take them there. You might have to go with her the first few times, but it would get her in contact with others.
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Interest in food is about more than appetite, isn't it? She'll eat when she's at a family meal, but not so much when she is alone. You can probably relate to that in a way, not preparing substantial meals for yourself when you are alone. But you have better judgment about what you need than Mom does at this point.

Meals on wheels food is always wholesome and healthy. Whether it is "good" is a matter of opinion, of course. My mother loves it. And she especially loves that there is always dessert. (They do develop a sweet tooth as they age!) If I ask her on the phone, "how was lunch?" she'll say, "Oh it was fine. There was chocolate pudding today! I couldn't eat all of the corn so I'll have that with dinner." Her family loves that she is getting MOW because we know she is getting one decent meal a day and also that someone is checking in on her when they deliver it. They don't stay hours, of course, but just having another person stopping in and asking how she's doing is a nice diversion for her.

I don't know what the service costs, because it is paid for through a program for the elderly that my Mom qualifies for. But if it cuts down on the amount of groceries that your mom buys and that then rot in the fridge, that is something to point out to your money-conscious mother.

So I reccomend a trial!

My mother (92) no longer uses the stove at all, but still can use the microwave. We make sure she has nice meals in the freezer -- she especially like Stouffer meals. We also bring her the homemade meals she loves, too. If one of us makes bean soup, we freeze a single-serving portion for Ma. WIth her arthritis she doesn't like to go out, but she likes certain fast-food meals we share with her if we are dropping in around dinner time.

It is sad to be figuring out ways to avoid visiting our own parents, isn't it? But I do understand how draining it must be to expose yourself to all that negativity! Cutting your visits shorter might help you both by allowing you to dread them less. "Mom, I have a dinner meeting tonight so I can't stay long, but I'd like to bring over a nice meatload dinner for you. Can I stop by about 6:00?"

You are being a loving daughter to be concerned about her meals. I hope you can work out something that is good for both of you.
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