Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
There are an awful lot of other things you can try too. Like dressing up the lettuce, or, as the other commenter suggested, different types and colors of lettuce. Or adding cabbage or using a carrot peeler and adding orange carrot strips to the lettuce. that and cheese, such as shredded cheese, or feta, just a little though so it's still "salad." Keep trying, add an egg, or half of a hard-boiled egg, or canned garbanzos.

Another thing a friend of mine did was to divide meals up to tiny ones, divided during the day, so she wasn't overwhelmed by a large meal. Try different plates, or a bowl instead, or vary the utensils. Try more or less liquids with the meal. Many people can't eat without washing their food down, while others fill up too much if they drink too much.

Try cutting things up for her, too. That could be one of the issues.

Another thing is that she might want to eat "breakfast food" for dinner and "dinner food" for breakfast or combine in some way that isn't culturally acceptable to your generation but was fine in her generation. Or perhaps she liked it when she was a kid. Who says we have to follow these cultural norms? We do not. When it comes to eating, what's important is that you are okay with what you are eating.

Also she might feel self-conscious if anyone is watching her while she eats. Think of it like brushing your teeth. Again, this is cultural. Many people feel uncomfortable if others watch them eat. Cultural differences and our family life probably dictates this. (I do not like others eyeballing me because I am nearsighted and if I cannot see them, I don't want them seeing me.) So maybe that has something to do with why she is only eating lettuce right now.

Hope this helps for starters.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I suffered with anorexia nervosa (I honestly do not like calling it that) for a long time, and well into my 50's. It's really true that elderly people can suffer from this. Usually it is not anorexia but something else. However, as it takes one to know one, I have personally seen eating disorders (again, I dislike the term) mistaken for dementia, mistaken for depression, or force-feeding done when other things aren't tried first. I have seen people end up in nursing homes and not even listened to. It's like they get thrown away like a piece of trash. I can clue you in on a few tricks that I and my fellow suffers have discovered.

Try appetizers. Using the principle that certain foods will whet the appetite, such as mustard (which contains no calories usually) you can try giving her some nice, attractive-looking hors d'oerve with mustard, even lettuce with mustard. It actually causes salivation which also tells the stomach to start churning away and expecting more food. That's why you want more after hors d'oerves, even though they might only be little bites of things.

My friend found marijuana quite helpful. If it's legal where you are, the medical type or otherwise you might ask your mom if she wants to try. I personally do not use it. However other people have found it boosts their appetite and that's preferable to compulsively self-starving, which after many years actually you are physically addicted to, so it's not a matter of "willpower."

I would recommend against the use of deception or force. These always backfire and are inhumane. For instance, the deceptive use of the drug Zyprexa backfires and is not recommended for the elderly. I have seen nurse lie to patients and give them this drug for "anxiety" or as a 'sleeping pill" and trust me, it is not a good idea. Also, forceful use of tube feeding is rape. Think about it. It should not be used in conjunction with threats nor force nor use of physical restraints. I have witnessed this done to kids and believe me, it also backfires, serious traumatizing kids, who are usually young girls.

That said, older people likewise do not respond well to coercion nor pushiness, nor ultimatums. That I know of, being gentle, trusting them, respecting them, learning from them, asking questions, allowing them to make their own choices, treating them like human beings, these will be more productive.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Everything else but, also you can talk with her MD about it and ask him for a medication called MEGACE. Look online and you can read more about this medication. It is used for people with cancer too. Helps. I've been used for some of my Residents.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hello Taxmamma, Do you have a health food store near you. I live in Kissimmee, FL and we have a place called Chamberlin's. My mom is age 75 and not eating either; she'd eat maybe 2 bites and said she was full. I asked one of the staff at Chamberlin's if they had any thing to increase her appitite and they suggested a multivitamin called MV75; it has a lot of vitamins in it and she took it about a week and she found she like food again. It's worth a try. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If you mean "she's eating less than she used to," find out why: do her teeth hurt? Does her stomach hurt? If you really mean anorexia, that is a serious condition requiring professional attention. Talk to a doctor either way.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

taxmomma, good morning... you didn't mention what kind of lettuce. Iceberg has absolutley no nutritional value at all. what about if you buy her the spring mix and add baby spinach and romaine? Top it off with some pure 100% olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar? I also add some cut up chicken breast. Mom really like that! Good luck, friend!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sugar Free Chocolate Boost w/ extra protein is tasty, You can either thicken it or blend with 1/2 a frozen banana. and she wouldn't have to chew. Worth a try. :-)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Try protein added smoothies. Ice, fruit,milk,protein powder & honey in a blender. If this doesn't help seek advice of the local health department nutritionist. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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