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I am the sole caregiver of my 84 yr old mother. Over the past 6 mo, her physical health has declined rapidly and the majority of it has to do with her nutrition.


Because she is so frail now, she finds it difficult to stand for long periods to "cook" and she refuses to use the microwave I bought her that allows her to just turn a dial.


This, and the fact she has dental issues, greatly limits what she can eat. She lives alone, but I visit her 3-4 times per week. She refuses to have outside help come in. When I visit, I usually prepare a hearty lunch and she eats it right up - so I know it isn't just her appetite that is keeping her from eating properly when I'm not there.


I tried Meals on Wheels, but she said she "got tired" of their meals and they would just pile up in her fridge and go to waste- so I cancelled the service so someone else could benefit.


I bought her some Ensure Plus that has extra protein and 350 calories per container, but she won't drink them.


Most of the time, she just opens several cans of vegetables, soup, or canned spaghetti for a meal, but I have no idea how much she is actually eating at each meal or during the day.


It just concerns me because she is definitely malnourished, but I am at a loss as how to improve this if she doesn't eat or take in enough nutrients. She has lost 10 lbs in 3 mo and down to 102 lbs.

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While she was still living on her own and fairly cognizant of what was going, my mom would buy enough frozen meals for a week. She also had a home delivery truck which she ordered frozen meals from. As she got older and her mental state declined, she stopped eating too. She hardly ate enough to keep a bird alive. I bought her anything she wanted. Chips, candy, puddings, etc. she was too old to worry about things like "clean eating" and the like. A lot of times, she'd tell me that no one had brought her a tray of lunch or dinner. I knew that wasn't true. I knew she wouldn't deliberately starve herself so I didn't stress myself out.
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Well, I think you are already doing what you can, frustrating as it is. These old gals can be stubborn, and like toddlers, food is one thing they get to control. I'm sorry that her memory/mental issues only complicate your situation. Please don't let her problems become yours- give yourself a break. Take her some healthy meals occasionally or take her out once in a while, if possible, and let the rest go. You are doing your best.
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She does visit her dr twice a year now and at her last appt last month we specifically talked about nutrition.

The dr pretty much said you can't force it down her throat. Except for high blood pressure,
she is relatively healthy for her age.

However, I believe a lot of her problems are mental. She hasn't been officially diagnosed with dementia yet, only memory loss, but she has paranoia about certain things. For instance, she won't take her meds if she thinks it's "old". Old to her is not going by the expiration date, but if it's in her cabinet for more than a week, she deems it old. She has the same thoughts on food, body lotion, or shampoo.

It's very frustrating to say the least.
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If she has lost weight so quickly, she should be evaluated by her doctor. It may be something more than poor nutrition. I am the caregiver for my 94 year old mom. She has been seeing her doctor twice a year lately. When she was your mom's age, she probably was going once a year. You need to start there, in my opinion.
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