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He has moderate dementia. Mom is concerned with his weight gain. He prefers to eat lunch meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, ice cream and all sweets. Dad eats all the yogurt before Mom can have some or the rest of her Instant Breakfast she has saved for herself. He sneaks food when no one is in the kitchen or while Mom is sleeping because he knowsshe disapproves. But he takes 2 meatballs, one teaspoon peas at dinner so Mom fixes his plate with a bit more food. We bu yvery few sweets for them and Mom keeps fruit and extra boxes graham crackers etc. in her room, putting out days portion at a time.

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It takes a mind shift - more small meals, less emphasis on three full meals a day. Think in terms of "better than" - muffins v. cupcakes, veggies with ranch dip get the veggies eaten, flavored yogurt may have sugar but also calcium and protein, fiber rich cereals that actually taste pleasant ( not like horse feed). My FIL loves ham salad - sodium yes, but it's also filling.
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I find that tapioca pudding, the kind you cook yourself, is very satisfying. Since you add eggs to it, it is more nutritious....Marymember
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Caty, you're obviously well organized and a good planner. The pumpkin bread is a good choice because of the benefits of pumpkin, in addition to being an elder favorite - that old sugar fix! There's also benefit to eating the pumpkin seeds - great vegetable all around!

You queried D/Cing Fosamax and Lipitor. Actually I think that doctor was very wise. Google Fosamax and class action suits; you'll find that Fosamax has been implicated to other fractures including something known as osteonecrosis of the jaw and more recently to femur fractures (this is very unsettling). Lipitor and other statins are notorious for having dangerous side effects.

There are other osteoporosis drugs besides Fosamax; one internist told me that the choice of drug should address the specific cause of calcium loss, and that she would do tests to determine what that cause was rather than just prescribing something like Fosamax or a tv star drug.

It was a more targeted approach than just prescribe the drug which so far I've seen seems to be quite a favorite sample of drug reps who distribute it to doctors.

Lipitor also has serious side effects and has been linked to development of Type II diabetes.

Obviously there are trade-offs in both cases, but there are also natural, non harmful methods of addressing osteoporosis and high cholesterol. JMHO. It's not my intention to foster an argument about these drugs, just to share an different approach to viewing them as.
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My 94-year-old Mom was always a light eater (always has weighed about 95 lbs). Now that she's a widow, very frail, and has caregivers in the home from 9 am until bedtime, I figure she can eat whatever she wants. When I visit (4-5 days at a time every month or so), I make her favorite foods (main courses such as baked chicken, meat loaf, meatballs, soups, etc. and freeze in individual portions) and sweets such as cookies, coffee cakes, pumpkin bread--all her favorites and most from her own recipes. I can prepare a dinner with meat, vegetables, and salad in front of her in small portions, and she'll say it's too much, but then finishes her plate and is ready for desert right away! She's always ready for a sweet (bite-size candy or a cookie) mid-afternoon. The aides buy her "nutritious" food such as yogurt, fresh cut-up fruit, salads and fiber-rich cereal (shredded wheat and bran flakes) and she'll eat them, but she really likes her comfort food. I agree that unless there is a blood sugar problem, let your loved one eat whatever he/she wants. BTW, though she's had high cholesterol levels since menopause and osteoporosis, her doctor took her off Fosomax and Lipitor about years ago (what was the point with the side effects versus dying of something else?) I think the threat of having to eat institutional food is what keeps her reasonably happy at home versus going to a nursing home or assisted living.
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Gogirl, I would focus more on your dad driving and getting lost than his diet. Your profile says he gets lost driving anywhere except church. I would address that immediately. It can be very unsafe for him and others.

Ref. the food, It's difficult to get people to eat something they don't want. It's only my opinion, but unless you are trying to control blood sugar, I think seniors should eat what they want. When someone is 80 years old, to me, they should get the foods they want as long as it's not causing them pain.
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Keep plenty of "real" yogurt (full-fat, no flavorings) around; the rest have too much sugar added. I swirl cinnamon and chocolate powder into it with a little stevia if needed (I've gotten used to it without sweeteners) You can add finely chopped fresh fruit rather than the high-sugar added commercial stuff. . Veggies can be hard for older people to handle, both to chew and to digest. Cooked is better, but watch to see how it is handled at the other end. See if they would like some of the better grains cooked as a pilaf (maybe with chicken soup to add flavor) with a yogurt topping, rather than white rice or other low nutrient carbs. Chicken and fish are easier to eat than beef. Watch for things that could be a choking danger--my sister-in-law, who lived alone with a daily caretaker, was found one morning by her daughter on the floor with the supper left by the caretaker the night before on the table, and the post-mortem showed choking.
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From what I've read about elders loving sweets, and from what I've seen as well as the effect sugary foods have on my mood, I think elders gravitate toward them because they are in fact comfort foods. Sugar elevates their moods, snacking fulfills an emotional response if they become anxious. Same reason I munch and snack when I'm anxious and upset.

What I gradually realized was that I can't change this but I can modify it. So I get pies now instead of cupcakes, cakes and really sugary foods. At least pies have fruit in them. They're still high in sugar, but better than cakes or cookies.

You might try doing the shopping and gradually decreasing the sugary foods, substituting them with sweet fresh fruits and nibblers such as carrots.
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gogurlz, when you go shopping, pick up some of the Gorton's crunchy fish fillets. You can get them in packages of 6 or 10. They take about 20 minutes to bake and they seem to rank as elder favorites. They are good and not too bulky. My father, who was very picky, liked them. Maybe yours will, too, since he liked fish sticks.
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As we get older we exercise less, thus we no longer have an appetite for a large supper like we use to have for decades. But Mom probably still wants to cook the way she did all those years.... my Mom was like that until she started to lose her eyesight.

Now my parents have a lot of snacks, oh my gosh all the chocolate cupcakes, Little Debbies, ice cream, etc. but that is because their taste buds are also in age related decline, and sweets is what they can still taste. Dad loves his grapes, which is good :)

I always believed once you reach a certain age you should eat what you want. My parents are in their 90's so apparently they are doing something right. So I am not going to make notice of all those sweets.
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Mom is losing weight at the same time Dad is gaining so she needs the Instant Breakfast etc. and yes, we are having to encourage Mom to snack.That's funny, Give-a-Hug, Dad has started boiling eggs and putting fish sticks on the shopping list. Neither parent drives so kids do the shopping when we see them,
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My father did the same thing. He didn't like bulky meals, but he enjoyed finger foods and sweet snacks. He loved ice cream treats. How old is your father? I think it is pretty normal for older people to want smaller meals as they get older. Their digestive systems can't handle the bulk as well as it used to. Vegetables seem to lose their appeal, particularly the heavy ones that are harder to digest. As taste buds disappear, sweets are more appealing because the taste buds for sweet seem to last longer.

Something you can do is work with your father's preferences, instead of worrying about the changes so much. Maybe he would like things like a salad with a boiled egg and some fruit. Or perhaps for dinner he would like one of the breaded fish fillets with some potato and green beans. These meals would be light and still nutritious (if salt is not a problem for him).

If he is gaining weight, it can be a problem. My mother is in the same stage now where she snacks on fattening things when I'm not looking. The only thing to do is what you are doing -- make them unavailable except what it is okay for him to have. It sounds like your mom is doing everything right. She may want to stop buying the things that are very fattening, maybe just buying an individual yogurt or two and not buying the instant breakfast. It's good that your dad has an appetite, but too much weight makes it harder to stay mobile.

Really, it sounds like you are doing just about as well as can be expected without locking up the food. That would probably be very upsetting, though, so I know you don't want to do that if you don't have to.
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Buy healthy lunch meat like turkey or high-end ham. Healthy cheeses, healthy crackers. Buy more yogurt so there's more than enough for both of them.

You know, there will come a time in both of your parents' lives that you will pray that they reach for a snack. Tell mom to stop obsessing about it, and change your shopping style. Since he can only eat what you bring into the house, shop with nutrition in mind. I say let him eat what he wants.
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Well, if you build it they will come. Mom is making snacks available, so he eats them. What if you put fresh cut vegetables front and center in the fridge? Would he snack on those instead?
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