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Mom has not used the stove in years and recently will not use the microwave either. In my absence she needs some grab & go choices.


Thankfully she loves oranges and bananas but she's getting tired of sandwiches!

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How about cereal?
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Peanut butter crackers
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Thanks Diana for the support & understanding!
Once I got over the debilitating fear of "something" happening in my absence it all made more sense to me. SOMETHING is going to happen......I could come home from work & find God knows what. This is her wish & its now my wish. Better than laying in her own excrement at the end totally immobile because they are afraid she will fall. She will be forbidden to walk as she does here @ home. After all something could happen when I'm right here...in the shower...out in the garage...checking the mail etc.....even standing right next to her.....

We live in a very sm town.....1 hospital & 1 NH. Shes had a few hospital stays & I was mostly pleased until this last 2 nite stay. They took her pull ups off...put a chucks under her & told her to just "go" if they could not get to her. She came home with a bed sore they didn't even tell me about! I saw the bandage on her butt...@ first thinking it was just a piece of toilet tissue. So when she got home....shocking... she had temporarily lost the ability to get up during the nite to toilet herself!
They did an Echo 3 EKGs a Carotid US etc........would we have acted on the outcome of any of these expensive tests? Probably not...shes a DNR......she's 94 ...not really a candidate for anything invasive. But did I get the portable O2 I have been begging for for 3 mo now? NO!!!!!!
She has done 2 stints in rehab.....PT was excellent.....they got her almost back to baseline after a total right side paralysis.....but the nursing care was sub par. She crawled to bathroom one nite! After that they placed her mattress on the floor with an alarm that would ring loudly disturbing other patients for sometimes hours....again leaving her no choice but to pee in the bed.This is demeaning for anyone.
No wonder the cost of Healthcare is out of control. They are the biggest road block for me as I try to allow Mom to age in place. The system tells me to keep her home as long as possible but refuses to give me the tools to do so. BTW I work in Healthcare.....I see the complacency & waste everyday...
Mom finds food OK....no problem there. Refrigerated foods don't always get put back in the frig as they should thus the need for non refrigerated items. Mom would be mortified if I cut the plugs off appliances ....she would think I have finally totally lost it wondering why I would "waste" so much money on perfectly good almost new items. I can see in some cases where that would work....as for the stove........she is afraid of it......much like driving.....she knew when it was no longer safe. I do count my Blessings in so many respects as I read of others struggles....
So for now I am her AL in her own home as well as her pre Hospice advocate & caregiver.
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Lucyinthesky—it sounds like your mom still has a quality of life. You both are doing it your way! I’m happy for you.

My mom was leaving the stove eye on high and wandering off, she has busy hands! She loves her new home in AL! 😊
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We did the lunch kit with an ice pack in it this summer. Aunt wouid turn off the AC and I worried about food sitting out too long. It worked pretty good. Sometimes she didn’t realize there was food in it. Other days she remembered and did pretty good.
She likes sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana, pimento cheese, scrambled egg. We cut them in squares and combine in a plastic partitioned container with peaches and cottage cheese. A square of each type sandwich so a mixture each day. Finger foods like cheese cubes sliced fruit on the side.
She loves old fashion fruit salad. Coconut, mandarin oranges, pecans, fruit cocktail, pineapple tidbits, baby marshmallows mixed with sour cream. Sometimes some of the fruit changes. She likes pasta or chili or soup in her thermos. Baked sweet potatoes or baked russets. Corn bread casserole can be eaten cold or warm.
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I was going to suggest that, a little lunch pail - it's also fun to unpack it and see what's in store :)

[I don't think that's just me, is it?]
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I'm not sure why you need things that don't need to be refrigerated, is it that she won't look for them? You can get her a nice little lunch cooler to pack her goodies in, that way everything is easy to find in one place and chilled items should be fine until you get home.
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Have you thought of a plate of hoe cakes wrapped in a dish towel to preserve their freshness. They can be dipped into coffee if they dry out too much. Or make mini muffin type of cornbread muffins.
When I was still working, I used to make foods from a couple of web sites. Mostly in a cupcake pan or one that could be sliced into individual servings. Many consisted of eggs and ground meats like sausage or ground beef/pork.
Search for one dish meals that are baked. Nearly all of the ones I used could be eaten cold.
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LucyITSwD - for a different viewpoint on ideas on non-refrigeration foods I’d suggest you google The Boat Galley. Sailing or anything being on a boat once off harbor power means limited refrigeration unless she’s really big. If you sail, you quickly figure out non or limited refrigerated menus. It’s a pretty awesome site for practical aboard ideas & she has a guidebook on super stable food storage (like for ditch bag).

My go to shelf stable sail recipe is Coconut fruit cones.... I buy the Kirkland grapefruit cups with pullback lids from Costco & throw in the locker. In a freezer grade ziplock mix a container or two with dry coconut shred, bananas, apples, pears, whatever hard fruit available. Between the coconut and apples, they will absorb the grapefruit juice & keep fruit from going bad. Unless it’s really hot, these can last couple of days. For fun & minimize clean up, you can put the fruit cup into ice cream cones or mini cone bowls. Personally I love using cones as their shelf stable, last forever, come in different types, can substitute for bread, will absorb a good amount of liquid before they get soggy. Plus their easy to hold & no clean up! Whether your 8 or 80, who doesn’t love food in a cone!
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A couple of ideas - mthr went to a memory care AL and she was certainly encouraged to toilet herself! Hospitals are a special circumstance so don't think that is how all healthcare is going to be. It is more expensive care to have to change diapers than to have someone wear depends or panties. That should not be your deciding issue! Mthr became social for the first time in her life when we moved her into a place with activities and people her age, It was a true blessing to her, a new life, and she was so happy to have friends to tell her stories (over and over) and watch birds with and play bingo with. Don't be afraid of placement.

Since you have mom at home for now, you need to make her as safe as possible. I saw an idea of turning of the electrical panel power to the stove the other day to keep it from being used. I understand elders loving the look of their kitchen with the various appliances, so how about taking bolt cutters and cutting off the plugs to the small appliances - crockpot, toaster, mixer - to prevent fires from misuse as well. These are cheap appliances so there is not any residual yard sale value!
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Thank you all so much for a wealth of information! She often will not eat an entire portion of anything no matter how small I make it so refrigerated items get left out for her to eat later.........sometimes I fear much later. Probably an in grained habit from her childhood...
I hear you on the "let her eat what she wants" concept. She is allowed treats weekly but in moderation. She's not a fussy eater & will eat healthy foods almost as readily as the junk. She feels much better mentally & physically without the junk food & preservatives as her ankles will swell with all the salt they contain. Loose stools/diarrhea is another problem that is diet related for her...no grapes or coffee or beans or (the worst!) hummus!
When I brought the almost daily loose stool issue up to her PCP he just said be happy she's regular. Yeah, OK......
Yes I do work a 32 hr week & have lived with her for over a year now... when she's alone I'm thankful she doesn't use any appliances including the toaster. She has a hardy breakfast & hot lunch before I leave to work 2nd shift.
Mom decided a long time ago to remain in her home as long as possible. We both know the "risks " involved. As I educate myself on this process I have come to understand what this really means.
What it means to her right now is that she doesn't want to go to a NH where they will most certainly not let her toilet herself as she does @ home. They will take her underwear off, put a chucks under her & tell her to wet the bed especially @ nite. I know this to be true because of a recent hospital stay. If i had it to do over again she would not have gone to the hospital. Under those circumstances she will loose her mobility in no time..........we all know the rest of the story.
She does not want 24/7 aides as she values her privacy....she won't be happy with that situation either financially or emotionally. We had to go that route post stroke.....it was difficult & confusing for Mom as they all had differing opinions and techniques ;leaving her with anxiety issues daily.
For now she is content to do as she pleases.....watching the birds @ the feeder hoping to see the almost daily appearance of the Cardinal....interacting with our 2 cats....walking from window to window to see the goings on .....letting me know the temps...inside & out from her thermometer. This morning we had Turkeys in the back yard feasting on her Crab Apple Tree. She was so excited she "jumped" out of bed to see them..........
Thanks again for your continued support......
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Even the same old sandwiches can get new life if you change up the bread; try flat breads like pitas, naan, tortillas, or include rye, cheese bread, multigrain, raisin bread. Can she use a toaster?
A mixed salad cold plate has infinite possibilities - bean salad, potato salad, pasta salads with cold meats and fruit or leafy greens., taco salads, chicken caesar...
"Trail mixes" can be made up of almost anything and be sweet or savoury - little crackers, breakfast cereals, nuts, dries fruits, bite sized chocolates.
Drinks are good calories too; hot chocolate, lattes, even regular coffee and tea can be left in a thermos or prepared using an electric kettle or single serve coffee machine.
Don't forget dessert, you can sneak some good nutrition in with fruit pies and crumbles, custards, healthy muffins, pudding cups.
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Lucy, depending on your Mom's age, if she is in her 80's or 90's let her have food that she enjoys, instead of just pin pointing healthy foods.

Whenever I got my very elderly parent's grocery list, Mom had Little Debbies snacks, Hostess cupcakes, raisin bread, Pringles, just to name simple items that are easy to open. I use to cringe at the list, but then I thought both of them were in their 90's, so they should eat what they like :)

Be careful of Cheetos, those can be quite messy ;p
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If she's not using those appliances, I'd take note of why. I found that my LO forgot how and it was too confusing her her. At that point, leaving alone can be risky. But, if that's not the reason, I like the list above. I'd also include: veggie tots, cooked bacon, cereal, protein bars, raisins, grapes, nuts, and energy drinks. 

I'd make sure that she is able to retrieve them from the cabinet.  My LO lost the ability to know that they were in the fridge or cupboard, so that, if the food was not right in front of her, she didn't know it was there, no matter how often I told her about it. She wouldn't even think to lift the foil from the plate to see the food.  Only see through plastic worked. 
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Do you live with her? If so and you need ideas for when you are out (at work?) during the day, think about lunch box ideas. Heat soups and keep warm in a thermos. Casseroles, spaghetti, etc on "warm" in a crockpot. Get a small cooler, pre-warm it with super hot water, pour the water out, put a warmed portion of food inside with maybe a warm pack. If you're on Pinterest, search "lunch box ideas." Most of those will be cold lunches (hummus, pasta salads, veggies, etc) but it might get your creative wheels turning.
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Also try googling "bento box lunches". There are lots of attractive and fun ideas there, if you have the time to put in. Some are for reheating, but many are cold.

And think of salads. There are the classic potato and tuna pasta salad. But you can also make some great grain (quinoa for instance) based ones. My mom likes california rolls (sushi rolls) which I can buy at Trader Joes.
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Hard boiled eggs
Deviled Eggs
Cheese cubes (and crackers)
Cheese spread (and crackers)
Yogurt
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