Getting father (85) to eat and drink what his doctors recommend?

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My father stays with myself, my husband and our 10 year old daughter 4 months out of the year. I have several frustrations but my biggest concern, frustration and "conflict" is what he is supposed to eat and drink vs. what he wants. He has a condition with his esophagus whereas he can not eat meat (unless chopped very small) and needs to eat soft foods. I make all kinds of great things vegetables, potatoes, pasta, soups etc. I make sure it is full of flavor and serve a lot of it to my family. I try to understand how it can't be easy to have a "limited" diet, but I don't understand how to help things more than I have. He spends at least 20 hours a day napping and laying down as he says he has no energy, I offer to make anything and he says no. An average day of food and drink for him is a cup of coffee with at least 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 donuts or a bowl of cereal, a bag or 2 of snack size cookies, 2 popsicles, soup for dinner and 1-2 Klondike bars for dessert and 1 small coke throughout the day. I have the instructions from his doctor but it doesn't matter to him. The other day he complained he got dizzy twice and I said you have been outside in the sun for 2 hours (we live in South Florida) and you are probably a little dehydrated. I was able to get him to drink some Gatorade and he felt better and I made him some eggs. So I explained "if the tank is empty the car can't run" he shrugged it off and we are back to where we started. I am at the end of my rope after 3 months of this I am in the state of tears everyday. He wants to live on sugar, cookies, candy and ice cream. It is effecting every aspect of my daily life and effecting my family. I don't want it to get to the point I can't have him come stay with us for the winter but I can not have my family suffer and I can not have my daughter be exposed to his indifference and selfishness. He had a clean bill of health mentally and physically minus the throat problem when he arrived in December. As I sit and write this the tears are flowing, until now I have felt like crying but my anger kept me from doing it. Any help is appreciated. I have never had to "care" for an older person and I feel (and I have been told) I am a very giving, patient and caring person but this is making me feel like a bad person. He is my Dad, how can I feel so frustrated, sad and angry.

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Have him listen to the doctors when he's not in Florida!
Hehe hehe hehe, and you all can have a fun vacation! !

M88. ♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥
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samsmom43 , are you still with us? Has anything we've said helped? Please let us know how things are going. We care.
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At 85 let him eat what he wants. He's 85. See if he likes ensure . Leave the poor guy alone. My mom sucked every last bit of pleasure from my dads last days trying to control him. Don't make the same mistake.
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my MIL also has problems swallowing and has had to have hers stretched a few times. She is now able to eat solid food, if we prepare it or go out to eat however due to the fact she ONLY wants candy we limit it and give it to her as a reward. Dr has also given her Meges to increase her aplite but that just makes her hungrier for candy so we opted to make her milk shakes with protein powder which she enjoys nightly.
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And, by the way, you are not remotely a "bad person." Far from it! But you've never taken care of an older person before and you are little confused about the role. It is perfectly appropriate for you to try to influence the eating habits of your daughter. You hope to instill good habits that will serve her for the next 80 years! That is what a mother does.

You are not in the same position with your father. He doesn't need to learn good habits that will stay with him for the next 80 years. His habits are pretty well set. Yes, things have changed with his swallowing problems. As long as he understands the risks he should get to determine what he wants to do about that. That would not be true for your daughter. Your role as the caring person is different in each situation. You certainly are not "bad" for caring so strongly about your father's health. You are just a little mixed up about what your role should be.

Please try to relax a little, accept your father as he is, bad decisions and all, and focus on enjoying his company.
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My mother's geriatrician would say to my mother, "Jean, the way you have taken care of yourself has gotten you into your late 80s so it must be working for you! I'm not going to tell you to eat some different way. I would like to see you drink more liquids, though. It is easier for you to get dehydrated as you age."

Your father is 85. He has a clean bill of health mentally and physically (for a person his age, I presume.) Why do you think that you have to manage his eating? He knows what the doctor said, right? Have the possible consequences of eating firm food or meat been explained to him? Has he seen the video of the swallowing test he had? At 85 I think he has fully earned the right to decide what risks he is willing to take.

Why is this effecting every aspect of your daily life and your family? How does Grampa eating a doughnut for breakfast have anything at all to do with the rest of you?

It is wonderful that you are offering him winter hospitality. Bless you. Try to relax and enjoy these last years with him. You are a giving, caring, and patient person. Just let that come out, naturally.

I'm more concerned about the amount he is sleeping. Twenty hours a day doesn't seem consistent with a clean bill of health. Does he have some other impairments? What are his living conditions the other 8 months of the year?
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There is no way dad is going to 'eat spinach'! lol! ..... My daughter makes kale-and-apple smoothies in the blender, bright green, and not as horrible tasting as you might think - I make one once in a while - but they sure aren't McDonald's milkshakes, LOL. Let him eat what he wants, what is the point in healthy eating? It's like organic organic organic....at this point in life, what good is suddenly eating organic veg going to do?
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i attended a dementia care seminar once and the teacher made it clear that dementia is a terminal illness and if the patient wants to live on doughnuts and beer , let them do so . i realize that your parent has been deemed healthy but i dont for one minute believe it . an 85 year old man has been erasing voicemails from the grim reaper for a long time .
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Once you are in your 70's or older, I don't see the point in stressing someone out over their diet. As long as he has his mental faculties, then I would let him have what he wants and let it go. He's eating basically what he wants and the doctor says he's fine. I'd be happy and not mention it anymore.

I think the person has the right to eat as they please at that age. I never say a word to my parents about their diet. I explain why I'm not eating certain things when they offer it to me, but I tell them to enjoy. Food is something they love and depriving themselves as a senior is not something they chose to do. I accept that and it doesn't bother me at all. I hope you can come to terms with it.
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How does he get all the sugary foods? Who buys them for him?

Seniors often do crave high sugar foods; I think it gives them a mental high that they lack otherwise as they face older age. Junk foods are popular with many age groups though.

Try cutting back on the sweets and substitute real food, w/o refined sugar or flour. He might be sleeping so much b/c he crashes after a sugar high.

Sometimes caregivers just have to be firm and set some conditions, that he needs to eat the good foods and minimize the empty no nourishment sugary foods if he wants you to compromise your life to care for him. You can't do so if he won't help himself.

And try to get him to eat green foods, especially those high in iron like spinach. It can help replace the energy he may believe he gets from the sugary foods.
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