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Hi,

I would be really grateful if you can advise me what foods would be best for my mother who is around 65 years old and has become very weak.

She has also gained weight, about 10-12kg due to inactivity mainly due to severe back and knee pain.

She can't eat much due to very low appetite. I would appreciate if you can be specific about the foods and their quantities.

Her current diet:

Breakfast = 1 or 1/2 slice of bread with 1 or 1/2 cup milk

Lunch = 1 or 1/2 slice of bread with mix vegetable curry or some type of soup (about 1 small cup).

Dinner = Same as lunch but with less quantity.

I keep requesting her to include more protein such as eggs and also oatmeal[1 egg or small cup of oats made in milk], she has started but can't eat regularly.

I'm very concerned of her becoming weak since I noticed her grip strength and activity level becoming considerably reduced.

She is also unable to drink water adequately, currently she only drinks maybe 2-3 glasses.

Please also consider diabetes and high blood pressure in mind before providing a suitable diet.

Watching your parents get old is indeed one of the scariest things.

Thank you very much.

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Ask for a Thyroid test. You can gain weight if its hypo. Thyroid also causes other problems. If you have no idea what i causing pain in her joints, have her checked for limes desease, RA, ect.
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Are you preparing your mom's meals, or is she? Bread and milk require no planning or preparation, so I'd try to improve on that. I try to work fruit and meat into my husbands diet. For breakfast he has orange juice, a banana half on his cereal, and a small dish of fresh or canned fruit. He loves canned pineapple, applesauce, or peaches. He likes a hamburger once a week, and I work in some chicken or meat every day.
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My mom is 78 and also has a very in active life because of severe back problems and arthritis. She also has a poor appetite and her breakfast usually consists of one slice of toast and a cup of coffee decaf, lunch is usually peanut butter crackers be at one or two and the ginger ail, diet of course and my daughter-in-law brings her down dinner every night which she typically eats very little of. No matter how much I cook for her or I buy because she insists she can do it herself, she is a creature of habit and tends to not eat well which shows every time she gets on the scale at the doctors in her week consistently goes now. However each grandchild that comes over and gets asked to please go out and get candy bars, or McDonald's at least two or three times a week just a hamburger and a Diet Coke at McDonald's just the same, and only on the days when I'm not there for lunch LOL. I don't care as long as she eats the calories that's fine and still she loses weight so if mom is gaining weight something is physically not right and medically not right. Your mom needs to see a doctor. My mom also retains a lot of fluid and I keep a close eye on that should be pretty obvious to you you should see very swollen ankles legs and if you do you and you just press a little bit on them if it takes a while for the color to come back there's a problem with how much she's retaining fluid you really need to see the doctor. Good luck
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The less she moves the less energy she is going to have. I have to walk my mother and push wTer because it doesn't dawn on then to do so. And I praise and praise abd praise her every single time. We also do 25 minutes a day if excercise while she sits in her chair because of balance issues
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I am very glad you are seeking medical help.

If pain is keeping your mother inactive and that contributes to her lack of appetite and her weakness, then in addition to good nutritional advice it may be advisable to treat the pain, as the source of the problems.

Before we knew that my husband had congestive heart failure (CHF) he could gain 10 to 15 pounds in a short period without apparently taking in extra calories. That was water weight! He lived with CHF for decades. Knowing that you have it and following a treatment plan can be hugely successful.

Again, I am very pleased that you are taking her to a doctor!
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Thank you very much for the replies.

I think she isn't snacking, her energy levels are very low.

It might be fluid retention, she used to experience this in her feet.

She has been on the borderline of being diabetic, but her bigger problems are high blood pressure and chronic back and knee pain.

Yes I have to get her checked up by a doctor and also contact a dietitian asap.
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When your body goes into starvation mode, instead of burning calories, your metabolism pretty much shuts down and stores all your food as fat because it does not know when it will be fed yet. I agree that a doctor must be involved because they usually need to refer the patient to a dietician. Since the person was already diagnosed as diabetic, she should have already had an initial consult.
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There's also the issue that the OP has requested that diabetes "be considered". If she is diabetic, that adds a whole 'nother element to the equation, not only in terms of weight balance, but glucose control as well as possible long and short term complications.

That possibility isn't anything to view lightly, which is why the OP needs to get her in to see as doctor ASAP.

A nutritionist can help, but a doctor is required to determine if diabetes is an factor. And if she is, a nutritionist can then help, but possible diabetes is a major concern.
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my mother could live on homemade broccoli soup . of course i would doctor it up with chicken breast and whatever kind of vegs were in the freezer but when the soup was done cooking id hit it with flour and water thickener then stir in about a cup of sour cream . she found it irresistable and would whack a pot of it every week by herself .
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You're absolutely right Tacy but that doesn't explain the weight gain which is why I would want her to see a physician first and then address the diet. She's definitely not getting enough protein and probably not enough fat and definitely not enough liquid so the fat and water soluble vitamins and minerals won't be getting into her system in the way they should.
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I am going to disagree with other posters on some issues while also agree on others. First of all, your mother needs to see a dietician to regulate her food intake and offer suggestions. From what you have described, she is not getting enough protein and calories from food sources. When calories are resticted, your body goes into a starvation mode and will get needed nutrients from muscle tissues. This may cause weakness and weight stabilization or weight gain. As I stated, I am not an expert so you should make an appointment as soon as possible.
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surplus calories = weight gain fact
surplus energy usage = weight loss fact so she might be snacking or have fluid retention.

AT 65 this is a very young age to be suffering these symptoms - I would get her assessed by a physician before I tried anything - her need may be more urgent than you realise

Try using lentils and ham in soup and blitz it hard
Try ensure glucerna as a meal replacement at breakfast
Try adding beans to curry - for protein
Its probably not going to be successful but you can dip bread in egg and fry it - chances are she won't eat it.
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If she is gaining weight, she has more than enough calories. I have a sneaking suspicion she is eating more than what you listed, perhaps snacking when you don't see her. If she is weak, the MD should check for fluid building up around the heart. He will listen for shallow breathing and a crackling sound in her chest.
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Amike, this is a forum of caregivers, some medical people and others interested and/or related to the caregiving field. It's not a forum that provides specific advice as you requested. That kind of advice should come from a physician or dietician - especially since you request that consideration be given to diabetes and hypertension.

Your mother really needs to see a doctor to be evaluated.
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You can't be getting an inadequate amount of calories and still gain weight, even if you are inactive. Is she retaining fluid? Has she seen her doctor? Is she on insulin?
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