My elderly mom with mid-stage dementia is currently living with us while we wait for a spot in the local memory care unit to open up, and mealtimes are becoming a huge expense, a tremendous waste of food, and a huge difficulty for my husband & I. Today is a good example. While I was finishing dinner, my husband went into my mom's room to ask her what she wanted to eat for supper. As we've learned to do through trial and error, he gave her two options: First he showed her what I had cooked & then he showed her a can of her favorite soup. He asked her which one she wanted. She told him she was still full from lunch and her afternoon snack & didn't want dinner. He tried to encourage her to eat on schedule with the rest of us but she declined again and he backed off because the doctor has okay'ed her skipping dinner if she's had at least one good meal during the day. However, fast forward two hours. I'm ready to head up to our bedrooms to tuck in the kids and relax for awhile. I poke my head into mom's room, say good night & ask if there's anything she needs before I head upstairs. She asks for rice and beans. *Sigh* I remind her of the time and tell her that dinner was hours ago. She said she wasn't hungry and we've already cleaned up and closed up the kitchen for the night. She replies that she has a "craving" for rice & beans and will just cook it herself. Now, we've got the kitchen locked up pretty tight so she can't cause any serious damage (as has happened before). But now she's up & I'm certainly not going to head upstairs & let her start making a mess of the kitchen. So now I have no choice but to start cooking at 8 pm. I gently tried (as I've tried before) to point out to her that she needs to have meals when the rest of the family is eating. I cannot accommodate her whims because both my husband and I work full time and cooking at night needs to not happen. But no matter how gentle I am in delivering this rule, she gets angry and then we'll get days of her refusing to eat and not speaking to us. I know - dementia - she's not going to understand. She's not going to have a good grasp of time. This is no win-win situation for anybody. I get it. But for those of you with live in dementia loved ones, how do you handle mealtimes? Do you just serve it up and not give them options? Do you simply cook whenever they want to eat and not follow a routine (please say no!) How do you handle the cravings? I feel like trying to figure out what she'll eat - even from meal to meal - is a moving target (I'm spending a small fortune running to the grocery store every other day for the latest laundry list of cravings!). Any advice for this burnt out short order cook / daughter / wife / mom / full time working woman / caregiver? I absolute HATE cooking for her and I've always loved to cook. Help!