How can we get our mom-mother in law to eat?

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She is 77 in hospital now, broke 8 ribs when she fell, may be there for a while longer. Not a big eater anyway, but she needs some kind of nourishment. Any thoughts for help would be wonderfull, her husband is still alive and he just does not know what to try and do.

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my wife and i will take care of her when she does get to come home we were told it will be a 24-7 for 6-8 weeks or longer there is no way my father in law is going to put her anywhere but home for know. thanks for the time and thought.
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Reply to moedog
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moe - make sure to tell them there is no one to take care of her at home then. They can't send her home if there's no one to look after her.
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Reply to Dorianne
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yes alot of pain they want the braces neck and chest on 24 hours a day I am sure its hard to eat with one under your chin. and she is not wanting to take her meds.. we have to go in for a family meeting friday i think they are thinking about sending home...I dont think thats a very good idea considering her husband is recovering from stomach surgery and my wife has been like liveing there and she can hardley get from her chair to the bed..we will see....not my wife my mother in law
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Reply to moedog
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If she broke that many ribs . Is she still having a lot of pain ? Older people dont heal as quickly and it could be part of the problem at least
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Reply to baskethill1
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Thank you all for the imformation I need to try and do whatever i can to help my wife and her dad with this problem, she does like slushies and milk shakes I was thinking freeze some ensure or something like that in a small bowl and she would think ice cream..again Thank you to everyone..
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Reply to moedog
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My mom also has a poor appetite and eats almost nothing. Basically I insist she drink at least one "special" milkshake per day just to get SOME nutrients. I got her renal team to back me up on this, so now I can say, "Doctor's orders."  But I don't really have to anymore, because she likes the milkshakes.

The milkshake is 1 high calorie Ensure (there are different types), 2 tablespoons of Beneprotein (a protein powder you can add to any food), and a couple of big scoops of real dairy ice cream (not all ice cream is real dairy, so check the label). Use good quality ice cream - Ensure is really not that great tasting, so it helps to disguise it.  I also got some disposable waxed paper cups with lids and straws - it helps mom feel it's more like a "real" milkshake.

Edit:  if your mom is less stubborn than mine, you can also make a smoothie with the Ensure and Beneprotein.  Just switch out the ice cream for frozen fruit, yogurt, and a bit of honey.  (My mom won't drink anything but plain vanilla!!)   
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Reply to Dorianne
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Sometimes institutional food can be pretty awful. When. I’d have lunch with my mom at her facility and she was still cognizant of what was going on, we used to play “ guess the meat”. In addition, Mom probably isn’ getting much exercise so she’s not working up much of an appetite.

With my mom, I’d bring her treats and stop for fast food once a week for her. She loved it and always ate.

Mom should be weighed once a week to make sure she’s not losing too much weight. If she’ll tolerate it, Ensure is something they give my mom.
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