Well, right now I'm a bit pissed off and frustrated as a caregiver.

My grandmother does this thing where she'll say to me "I should eat something, but I don't know what." I'll offer some suggestions, she'll pick one, I'll make it for her, and then she doesn't eat it. She'll take maybe ONE bite, and leave it. It's like, why did I even bother?

She often tells me that she's "not picky" which is BS (pardon my french!) I often wonder if she is in fact actually hungry at all or is it boredom? I don't know, but I'm getting super fed up making her stuff and just tossing it out. It's ridiculous and a total waste of food and my time. It's absolutely stupid that she complains she's hungry but doesn't actually eat anything. It makes NO sense!

I'm so fed up with this and got so mad this time around that tears just streamed down my face, and I stormed out. That's how mad I am at this issue. She does this to me A LOT and as a caregiver working two jobs, I don't have time for this nonsense nor the patience to deal with it.

She kind of reminds me of those bratty stars who demand their assistants get them something and then throw it away (think Miranda Priestly in "Devil Wears Prada"- the "get me my steak" scene and she ends up throwing the steak out.)

Help! What do I do? Is there any way I can curb this bad behavior of hers?

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I am sorry that you are dealing with this situation. I wouldn’t offer any suggestions. I would cook whatever you would like to cook. When she’s hungry she can eat what’s on hand.

If she eats, she eats. If not? Oh well..,
You could offer her a couple of choices of things that you don’t have to cook, maybe a sweet treat to be served after her meal. For instance, “Would you like cookies or ice cream?”
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Vivian711 Mar 2020
Thank you for ''giving me permission" to cook what I want. If my husband wants it, he can eat it. I, too, am tired of throwing away good food. My husband in on hospice care, cannot walk and is on O2 all the time, thus, he has no appetite.
I think that the losing of the appetite is one of the hardest things that we, as caregivers, face.
I doubt if you can curb her bad behaviour, but you might feel better about it if you stop thinking of it as bad behaviour. She doesn't have anything you'd *call* an appetite. So although she's peckish, and she knows that custom dictates she ought to have a meal around now, she's not really hungry.

As they say: "a pinch of appetite is worth a pound of seasoning."

I do think "why did I even bother?" is an extremely fair question! Don't! - don't bother, I mean. Cook what you're going to cook anyway, although don't choose anything you know she detests, obviously.

And don't take that bait, the one when she says "oo dearie me now what do I want to eat read my mind (and my stomach) for me..." Tchah. "You let me know, grandma, and I'll certainly do my best! Fresh out of ideas though, I'm afraid - tonight we're having good old reliable [pot roast, whatever]."

Also - do adjust for her tiny appetite, and don't expect her to put away a proper plateful of anything.

By contrast, a client asked me to cook him bacon, sausage and fried egg for his lunch today. He's on oxygen and his cooker runs on gas, so no he was not able to 'engage in meal preparation' and I just rustled it up for him. It wasn't 'til he'd cleared his plate that he told me none of my coworkers will do anything that doesn't go in the microwave. Had me fooled! - but sort of in the opposite way :)
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I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. When I read it, it was a reminder of raising preschoolers, the exact way they acted with food. Not saying you should treat your grandmother as a preschooler, but I’d also not knock myself out making different meals according to her whims. Make what you’d normally make and offer it to her, if she refuses, so be it. Don’t allow it to upset you and don’t get trapped into conversations about it. If you’re going to continue as a caregiver you’ve got to preserve your emotional and mental health, if that’s not possible, time for someone else to take over. I wish you the best
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