Mom is in AL against her will after a fall, hospital stay and rehab. The facility is rated among the best here, but because it is a religious facility there are some restrictions. Meat and dairy are never served at the same time and Saturdays are cold meal days.
She has been there since October, and early on I made her favorite soup for Saturday or when she didn't like what was being served. The aides said they would be more than happy to zap it for her if she wanted them to. Kind of as I expected, it sat in her fridge for 2 weeks, untouched as she continued to gripe. What I have observed is that she is eating FAR better than she had at home even if she only likes half of the things on her plate. My visits are at lunch time and I can actually feel my heart beat somewhere around my throat wondering if she is once again going to get up with her plate (and no walker) and scrape all the veggies and whatever into the trash while stating that she pays good money for this awful stuff. I usually eat what she doesn't want and always ask if she tasted it. Nope! it's shiny with oil.. "Mom, that's margarine" then she tells me that she never ate margarine before and isn't going to start now.
You can see her face getting red and her eyes starting to change as they do when she's angry. At this point I always divert the conversation toward others at the table. I don't want to address her griping. All of this is her usual routine at lunchtime. But there are many days when she eats everything on her plate. All in all, it's still better than what she ate at home unless I brought her meals. Even those weren't always something she would eat.
The first thing I'd think for you to recommend to me is not to go at lunchtime. I've tried that, but sadly, we sit in her room while she complains about everything, tells me that I don't understand, says she hopes I'm never in this situation, refuses any and all decorations/pictures/little tables from home because I'M NOT STAYING HERE.
I welcome anything anyone wants to say! Even if it's a joke, riddle or limerick... One thing that I'm thankful for is that I'm a happy person to begin with and she's beat me down to only far less happy. I can only imagine how awful this must be for a depressed person.