Follow
Share

My father is in a nursng home but won't eat the food because he doesn't like it. He has always been particular about meal times, needing a lot of variety (won't eat leftovers and won't just eat what is served, but rather will only eat what he likes). Have spoken to the staff including nurses, dietician and food service manager who are all working to find a solution and are open to suggestions.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Glad NH is trying! Food is a pretty big deal when there is not much going on in your life, & nstitutional food IS often bad (sometimes not nutritious and tasteless - worst of both worlds!).What kind of things did he eat at home? Maybe a simple menue for him that he decides in advance (eggs, toast, Grilled cheese sandwiches, steamed veggies, etc rather than "chicken something-or-other" entree), or maybe NH could be supplied with frozen meals just for him (restaurant or home-cooked).
Not all NH are good on food, and some are appalling -- my parents had a dear friend basically murdered by a SNF that gave her entirely the wrong foods for her restricted (kidney failure) diet. Patient KNEW what she wasn't supposed to eat, begged for correct foods, but SNF refused to give her anything but regular diet, swore it was "OK" and that they had "checked it out", etc.(bananas for potassium-restricted diet? what were they smoking!). Not surprisingly she deteriorated and died (they weren't charged, though should have been. Not surprisingly SNF has been cited for other neglect deaths) Nightmare.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You are right on Jinx. I make sure my mother gets a variety of foods, I make sure she eats the ones she likes all the time. I would like her to eat more of a variety of fruit for instance, but she likes bananas, okay, then if you want two go ahead. She loves breakfast sausage, this is was she wants every morning at breakfast with a bowl of cereal. Talked to her doctor and expressed my concerns about the sausages and he said let her eat all of what she wants, and her bloodwork incidentally came back with excellent results. I agree let them eat what they want, let them have salt and I would never eat a thing without it. It is one of the most important things they look forward to in a day in a nursing home, at least my father did, and he had a great appetite up to the end of his life with salt and spice cooked into his food and as much in addition as he wanted. I spoke to the Geriatrician, he said to give my mother a glass of wine or sherry if she wanted it at dinner, or a brandy in the evening, much better than prosac or seroquel.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jinx! Exactly! I texted to care home owner and her assistant last week that at 95, a little salt and seasoning in her food is her only enjoyment. I doubt it's going to be a detriment to her health. Right? What's the big deal? I continue to bring fresh ripe fruit, her favorite flavored yogurts, and See's candy. Life should be as enjoyable as possible, not worse that it already is. Lol. Just kidding:) xo
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I visited regularly in a nursing home, and expect to end my days in one. The food at the one I visited was really pretty bad, at least some of every meal. My friend always had peanut butter and Glucerna available. Good luck trying to get him tasty food.

Not to be too much of a jerk, but depending on your Dad's age and health, why does he have to eat healthy food? The part of my life that I will spend in a nursing home is one period I won't want to prolong. Who cares if I die at 86 instead of 89? Not me! Let him eat whatever he likes that won't immediately hurt him.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Add something he likes with every meal as long as it is healthy or somewhat healthy for him to eat. If what he likes is not healthy, then ask him for a second choice and educate him on how to choose what he eats and why it is important to eat healthier!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

momo4kids I myself love food!!! With a passion!!!! Forgive the bragging but I am a great cook. I season food without a lot of salt and salt lovers eat my dishes without salt. The food at my Mom's NH is better than some of the best restaurants I've eaten at. I hear so many residents complain. I just found out as we get older we lose sense of taste, it weakens and the last of those is sweets so that's why many elders want sweets. My Mom eats her veggies like nobodies business now. When I cooked for her she complained I;m not eating those yuk like a kid. If I gave her a choice she had an excuse for everything, I'm allergic, hurts my tummy, I get a rash etc etc etc.... now if you put in front of her it's gone. Just adding input!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hmmm. Soon we need to get something
Down. Boost does make a pudding.
you can take vanilla ensure and add
Flavored syurips such as Choc. Strawberry
Or Carmel. There are a couple of
Companies that make nutrient cookies.

Could something happened to our
Taste buds
some meds could cause that.

I know of a Dr who rx a swig of a good
Wine to clear the taste buds and to
Give an appitite.

It worked

Good luck
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I really like the idea of having restaurant food delivered. Its usually an upscale type restaurant vs a mcdonalds type.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Love therapy dogs. Wish our NH would invite and welcome more volunteers but i suspect their culture doesn't value the contributions volunteers can make.

I suggested the fridge. Check with the NH first of course because now our NH claims there is a health issue with having one; foods that expire not being discarded or the staff having to monitor refrigerator temperatures.

Also when mom was with me there was always so much to do. Because I also worked full time exhaustion was my friend. I learned to buy alot of back up items so if necessary I would have good/decent food items if I was too tired to get to the store.
I used alot of baby food items largely the "graduate types. They have ravioli's etc etc. Bananas were good because keeping fresh ones in the house was ongoing so I had these in an emergency. Mom loved all of them. Alot of the fruits require no refrigeration ...could your dad help himself to these and others? Jello and some other brands make pudding cups, chocolate, tapioca and other flavors no refrigeration. Likewise some other brand makes single serving size peaches and pears in single serving (all these things can be there and the cna can provide). Bring your own bottled beverages for him.
The NH wouldnt have to go to too much trouble; EX: tell them what to omit for breakfast and thats it...let dad eat whatever is on the plate that should be the items he likes (since you told NH what to omit). Can he be offered a choice at lunch dinner particularly the main entree if nothing else? In the baby food section I recently found the new food item kids/baby yogurt that does not require refrigeration. Let us know what solutions you find if any.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It has been my experience that often times a person does not complain about their real problem. It could me more than food or other than food. It sounds like you and the staff are going the right way to find a solution. Keep your dad in the loop as much as possible.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

@ Christina W I am a pain too. Placate is a good description; sometimes worse.

Now to answer the question; there are a few residents who have their minds but something physical is wrong with them but they are mobile. They didnt care for the food either so the family purchased dorm sized fridges. In the fridges are foods the resident likes and can help themselves to. If your lo cannot act on his/her own place the liked food items in their and ask the serving cna's to give it your your dad. Bananas are good for the end table that they can give him. At our NH there is an alternative menu item always so the resident (or you) can ask for that. Ours also provides peanut butter and jelly upon request. Another family member brings his mother a baked potato every early evening. Some cities have delivery organizations that will deliver food from any restaurant you want to order from. Perhaps you could schedule this for 1x per day; his favorite italian restaurant etc. If he can help himself the fridge is a good idea cuz he could select with the help of cna what he wants. Unfortunately I would hate it at a NH too. I eat what moves me on a given day which does not happen at a NH. Also, perhaps you could check your jobs lists and see if there is a companion type person for hire that would perhaps 1x a week bring a food item to your father or entire meal. Delivered pizza?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mother doesn't like the food in the NH either. But so what else is new. She never liked the restaurant food, or what I cooked either. She is a very picky eater, always has been. The doc gave her some meds to enhance her appetite. Now she eats better, especially sugary things.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Too often nursing homes are prisons for the old. They really don't care if you like the slop or not. I would never allow any relative of mine to go into one but I visit them (with therapy dogs) as a volunteer and having been invited to eat there, I decline. It is good that your dad's nursing home at least is open to options. A friend of ours has his mother in a nursing home and all of the sons go visit her daily. She hates the food there too and they don't make sure she has water within reach so when they get there, she is dying of thirst. They worked out a deal that meals she likes will be delivered to her and they themselves carry food in to her and feed her. They got a reduction on her fees due to her not using the meals there. She benefits from having better food and seeing her boys twice a day instead of once.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

take your dad out !
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just wait. When the nursing home and staff are doing everything they can to please his palate, he relishes the attention. When he gets hungry enough, he will eat. Taste buds do change as one ages and things have to be doctored in order to really "taste" food. Buy him some spices, hot sauce, relish and see if they might improve the food for him. Then do nothing. If he doesn't want to eat staff will find a way to feed him. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Before I came to take care of my mother I arranged for meals to be delivered. She did not like them at all. They used no salt or seasoning when they cooked, and if you don't use salt while cooking, you can put a pound of it on after it is cooked and still doesn't taste good. Perhaps they have to ask for their food to be seasoned, some places do two batches.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The other night, i was watching a Teepa Snow YouTube video. After the 3rd time, I figured that I wasn't retaining what I'm watching. So, I took a notebook and took notes on her videos. She said that when we get older and have dementia, the dementia is damaging our brain. One of the sense of tastes that remains the strongest is Bitterness. And that is why you see them put lots of suger and salt in their coffee, food, etc...She said that the things that they didn't like before - now they really don't like it. And what they once liked, they now dislike. And what they might like today, they will dislike tomorrow. For my father, he can't stand sweet, so most of his favorite food are salty - pizza, sausages, etc..He would drown his food with catsup. ....The NH and you may need to experiment on his food. Remember - what he may like today, he may dislike tomorrow.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I feel the same way about the food bring served at my Mother's care home. No seasoning, terrible unbalanced combination. I complain. I visit late afternoons and am there to feed my Mother her dinner. I took a photo with iPhone and texted it to the owner's assistant. Did they do anything? No , they placate ME!
What I do is take her a couple of meals every week that I prepare, which honestly, is better than most restaurants. She eats it much more enthusiastically than the blasé food usually served. I can't do it every day, but delicious food twice a week is better than never.
I think they figure the elderly women who can't communicate anymore must not care. I can't live with that, so I speak up. Constantly. I'm a real pain:) xo
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I just don't know. I hate when questions go unanswered, though. It sounds like the NH is willing to adapt though , which is great. Will he really let himself starve? Or do you think once he gets hungry enough he will eat. With kids you can kinda play the game of waiting them out if they are picky eaters and they will usually eat when hungry enough but with elders I don't suppose that is a good idea. Do you think this is more of a behavioral thing-like he is spoiled -for lack of a better word-or does he really have an aversion to certain foods? Textures? Some people have tactile issues with eating. If I get any gristle in a bite of meat -it is all over-I cannot eat anymore. I am very picky about my meat. I can only eat poultry and seafood, usually. If I do have beef it has to be filet. I KNOW I am such a brat! And -pulp -forget about it!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.