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Mom is in independent living facility but I have her escorted to breakfast and dinner. She has moderate alzheimers and is not confident talking to others . She will not go down to dinner, saying she doesnt feel good. The food is included in rent and since she doesnt cook, it's important that she get meals. What to do? How do I get her to go to meals?

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For an added fee, you can have her meals delivered to her room. This, although a temporary solution for nutrition, is not the best way to go over the long haul. Perhaps there are tables in the dining hall, where one can dine alone.
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My mother is in assisted living and had trouble in the beginning. Fortunately she is seated with the same people for all meals so she's gotten friendly with them and feels comfortable. Like the others have said, I would talk to the staff and see if they can assign someone to help her. When my mother first got to the AL facility, they assigned someone to show her around and eat with her in the beginning. She felt more comfortable after someone helped her.
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I agree with all the other people who said to talk to the staff and see if you could eat with your mom a couple of times and place her at a table of people who are compatable with her and strick up a conversation with them. My aunt lives in a rehab center and for months all she wanted to do is eat in her room so we strairted to sit with her in the dinning room for either lunch or dinner and now she'llgo to the dinning room with other people. she doesn't want to be alone in her room. have her get involed with arts and crafts,coffee hour if they have a religous service have her attend one of them,movies if they have a knitting club thats another activity she should try. Dayle from R.I.
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Hello, as having my own home care service, I'd have to agree with the last couple of comments. Elder people regress and can become very child like. Also I am one that does not strike up conversations easily so I can totally understand how she might feel.
It might take family members engaging in meals with her for a while to get to headed the right direction. Make sure you head down for the meal at the same time as others do so so she will get accustomed to the faces she will see. It takes repetition to become a habit.
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Good thought about checking on the depression angle.
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I'm with the others that say the staff should be helping your Mom. The staff should be bridging meeting neighbors and helping your Mom socialize. If they are not doing this... somethings not right at the staff or something isn't right with their procedures.

If the staff has tried to help and failed, it may just be a time thing. Your Mom will eventually acclimate to the new surroundings and gain confidence.

As for eating, staff should provide some sustenance ... even after hours for those that can't make it to the dinning room. Talk to them.

Also, I'd f/u (follow up) with your Mom's PCP (primary care physician) because she may be slightly depressed and need a little boost.

Good luck!
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What excellent answers! What thoughtful caregivers! It is never easy to be the "new kid in the classroom" and all the caregivers who sent in responses realized this. May everyone feel a sense of renewal this Easter season.
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I was very thankful to see this question on this site this morning. Something I have learned the past two weeks: As caregivers we need to learn to listen to what our loved ones say but also be very observant. Examples: My mother recently told me she does not want to go down to to the dining room because she is not as hungry as she used to be; my observation: Mom is having difficulty with arthritis in her index finger on her right hand and has difficulty now with putting her hearing aids in, clasping her bra fixture, and holding her fork to eat. Her aphasia has also gotten worse which has become frustrating and embarrassing to her. Sometimes she does not "tell the whole story" of what is going on because she does not want to complain, ask for help or admit that there is a greater problem. I have asked the staff at the Emeritus to please be more hands-on with my mother and they have easily complied with our request which is a blessing. Asking for their input has also been a blessing so we can all work more in unity.
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I think most places do the placecards. I visited an assisted living facilty once where the director told me they have too...lol...cause otherwise the old ladies would fight who they would sit next to...lol...so placecards works well with assigned seating. In school you got assigned seating in the beginning and over the semester you got to know who is next to you same as on cruises..same as your neighbors. Humans are social creatures by nature and after the ice breaking it should be fine. You should go several times down with your mom and sit with her and start the coversations first with the ladies or gents that sit at her table and just break the ice, bring up hobbies or travels that your mom has been on and see if anyone can join in on that...before you know it a roaring coversation with erupt and she will not feel alone and alientated and strange no longer. Just a matter of ice breaking...oh bring some family photos or little souvienier trinkets that could spark conversations. Good luck and hugs to your mom!
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Try going to dinner with her. You being there might be the security she needs to begin to interact with others. As she grows more confident start pulling back. It worked for my mother.
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Talk with the staff and make arrangements to go and have one of the meals with her at a table with others also (not just the two of you) help her spark up conversation. (you really may need to do this several times at least). The dining rooms can get a little clicky (yes even at that age!) ask the staff to help you pair her up with residents of similar capabilities, preferably someone a bit outgoing or even near her own room location so maybe eventually they can walk down together. It is very much like school all over again so if you can approach it the way you would for a child to reassure them and help build confidence that will really help.
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Jangirl,
Think of this as the Junior/Senior prom. Of course she is nervous breaking into a new crowd. Don't go to dinner by forcing her on other people. It's unattractive. If you have children you know that picking their friends and forcing them to like each other doesn't work. Seating assignments only work on cruise ships, and not really. When you changed schools, in your youth, you eventually found a new set of friends. It took time. Remind her of her self confidence going to that first coffee with the 'wives' or the first company party. She will remember. It's the same acting job she has done before and after time she might make friends. It's a process.
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Talk to the staff, they may have a buddy system as this is common. She may be able to start the welcoming committee, and help another new resident get aquainted in the future. No better cure then helping others sometimes. If that doesn't help you can always hire a companion until she gets aclimated.
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Naheaton is right about breaking the ice. My mom stays at assisted living occasionally for respite care and I had to eat there with her a few times before she felt comfortable. After doing that she was fine.
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Do they have assigned seating in the dining room? That seemed to help my mother-in-law to get acquainted with people, by having the same women at her table every meal. It could be that you'll have to have a few meals there with her for awhile to help her break the ice.
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