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She never did THIS until after Alzheimer's dementia diagnosis that's why I think its worse. If I don't get it, she pitches a fit. It is such a waste of money. I try to go get food without her but now she don't eat what I cook. I never know what she will eat. It is so frustration. I hate grocery shopping. Help please!!!!!!!!

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I try to do that but when I cook, she doesn't eat it.So I am wasting my time ehrn Im already exhausted. She never know what she wants to eat so picking her up something backfires to. She just fusses. I can't do anything right please her so I buy few groceries and mayb she will find something she eats for supper.
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mj, I stopped taking mother with me to the grocery store.
She was so slow, it drove me nuts.
I just show up with groceries and food and put it away real fast.
Fixing her meals and doing all her shopping and driving is exhausting.
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No she doesn't think Armageddon is coming, she just like shopping and then cooks, eats it 1 day. My dad eats it few days. I freeze some. have start all over. It drives me nuts. Or o cook what she buys and she refuses to eat it. complete waste pf my time and $. Im already bout pull my hair out from exhaustion and run away. She never knows what she want to eat. It's a task every evening. Breakfast is same thing. I just gotta change my perspective or imma sink. I know this is only the BEGINNING
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Do any of the mothers who buy too much watch any of the survivalist programs, not the specific instance ones but those focusing on the people who think Armageddon is coming, the government is out to get everyone and they need to stockpile not only food but weapons?

I'm just wondering if some of these right-wing programs are affecting elders.
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OMG Jessie, 20 years of food? My mother didn't buy to excess but she'd conveniently "forget" something so I had to take her again in a day or two. Shopping was her only hobby life long I admit, during the summer when the electric bill is low, I stock up on specials and come winter the freezer and pantry are full and there's a ton of stuff like paper towels, toilet paper, pet food and so on but I live on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere so if we have a lot of snow I don't need to go out for weeks. Growing a large garden, getting into canning and keeping chickens this year.
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Anyway... you will probably need to shop alone. If you know what she likes to eat, you can buy those things. Perhaps you can have her help make a shopping list. That way she will feel like she's shopping, but without the tantrums that can happen in the store.
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My mother did this, so I know what you are talking about. We might have a dozen of a certain product at home, but she would want to buy more. She couldn't resist grabbing things off the shelf that she knew she used. The problem was that we had a brimming freezer and refrigerator with some food dating back 20 years. There was no pantry or cabinet space left. Things were piled up to the ceiling in the kitchen. There was no room for more food.

Going shopping with her always ended up in a fight. I would say, "Mom, we already have lots of that. We don't need another." She would pitch a fit. It was really a control issue. She never shopped with a list and never shopped with a daughter that had a list. Pretty soon I realized that I could not take her shopping with me. So I started doing the shopping alone... and I got the hoard of food cleaned out of her house over the next few months. We either used it or I threw it away. It was beyond terrible. It is what happens when people buy more than they can use for 20 years.

My mother didn't drive, so she learned to buy a lot at one time when Dad would take her shopping each week. She was always concerned about running short, so I understand how the behavior started and escalated later in life.
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She pitches a fit and gets her way!! How do you handle this? You make sure fit-pitching totally loses the game, do not give in. My kids learned early on that fit-pitching got them banished to their room.
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Mom never did this before the dementia set in, so I think you are correct in suspecting it is dementia behavior. It is only wasteful if the items won't get used. Buying several cartons of toilet paper -- so what? It will get used eventually. Buying 5 heads of lettuce? More of a problem because some are likely to spoil. Unless money grows on trees in your neighborhood, I think you'll need to take some control over perishables. Try not to fuss or worry about the staples. Somehow it gives her comfort to have all that stuff on hand.

I don't think the eating issue is related. Food in general tastes different as we age. Our taste buds are wearing out and we taste some things much more strongly than other things. The overall taste is different now. And at least two kinds of dementia (Alzheimer's and Lewy Body) include loss of smell, which has a big impact in how things taste. This is a very common problem among elders and especially among elders with dementia. It isn't related to the desire to hoard grocery items.

So I think you are dealing with two distinct challenges here. Does that make it seem better or worse?

On the hoarding, I'd say let her stock up on canned goods or paper goods. Try to limit the waste of over-stocking perishables. She pitches a fit? Sorry. You still have to help her manage finances reasonably.

The eating is a big challenge. Work with her to discover what she likes right now. Serve it to her, again and again. Don't over-stock up on it though, because she is likely to suddenly hate it. She may want cottage cheese and pineapple until you are sick of serving it, and then suddenly decide she hates cottage cheese. Sigh. Maybe she wants applesauce three times a day. Fine. Serve a pretty little dish of applesauce along with what ever else is for each meal. Let her see that you are on her side, that you understand that it is frustrating to have the taste of foods change, and that you'll work with her to try to make eating experiences pleasant.

When people say that taking care of someone who has dementia is hard, these are exactly the kinds of issues they have in mind! Hang in there.
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I have a different take on buying what some might consider excess groceries, but it depends on whether she wants large amounts of fresh food that can spoil in a week or so or whether she's buying staples.

If the foods are canned or frozen and can last for a long time, I frankly see nothing wrong in buying on sale. My mother did that and saved a lot of money by purchasing the bargains. And that's what I do.

I believe that many people just buy enough for the week ahead, which is obviously a choice they make. Our family never did that.

So the large amounts of what she buys would to me be of concern only if the foods are perishable.
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My dad has dementia and he is now saying that everthing just doesn't taste right. Even dishes my mom has cooked for 60 years. He only wants sugary junk. It's part of the disease. That part of his brain is not working well.

He would also go to SAMs Club and buy tons of paper and cleaning products. I mean tons! The garage was full to the rafters. Then.....it just stopped. Have no idea why. Meanwhile, everyone in my family has stocked up on paper products. I'll never have to buy paper towels again in my lifetime.
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And if she pitches a fit, take her back to the car immediately and take her home. Like when you threw a tantrum way back when.
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You gently refuse to take her shopping. Just say NO. Like when you were little and you wanted to go shop for toys. You agree to pick up what ever she needs. If she asks for lettuce, see if there is any in the fridge. When you find some in there, gently tell her she has lettuce. Check all items she asks for, because they forget what they have.
If she refuses what you cook, tell her she gets no dessert (you are now the parent) unless she eats dinner. Gently.
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Mj, why not buy the groceries using cash. Cash is something that someone with memory loss understands compared to using a credit card. That way you can say, sorry we won't have enough cash to buy all that you want.

Or check and see if your area has an on-line grocery service such as Peapod. Peapod will do home delivery for a small fee, thus making it much easier, unless Mom starts looking over your shoulder while you are ordering groceries :P
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