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My elderly mother recently moved into our home. We've hired her a private home health aide/companion because my husband and I both work full time, plus we have small children with busy schedules in the house. I'm conflicted on what to do re: my mother's shopping habits with the aide. Mom LOVES to grocery shop. On Monday, mom & the aide came home with five different prepared meals from the store. Today was the 3rd day I've failed to get her to eat any of that food. She doesn't like it & the aide commented that she thinks mom bought this food for us not her. I also noticed a few cases of water stacked up in the corner of mom's room. When I asked about that, the aide said that mom doesn't like using the water dispenser on the outside of the fridge so she bought water too. As I was dumping the prepared meals in the trash tonight & thinking about the free filtered water coming out of the fridge, I couldn't help but be frustrated with the waste of mom's money at the grocery store. As I'm thinking this over, I look over on the counter and in the two days (and two trips to the grocery store) that mom has spent with the home health aide, they've also purchased THIRTEEN bananas. WTF? As a side note, now that mom is living with us we're starting to strongly suspect that she has undiagnosed dementia. She is not able to retain new information and her short term memory is frighteningly nonexistent. I've shown her where the meat drawer is in the fridge at least 4-5 times a day and she just can't remember. So my dilemma...do I allow mom to make these shopping trips that she clearly enjoys even though she's wasting money on food that I'm literally throwing out days later or do I tell the home health aide that we need to discuss what they're going shopping for in advance? Part of the problem is also that I have a small kitchen and having to constantly make room for food that's not even eaten in the end is really pi$$ing me off.

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Is there an organic grocery store near you where the aide could take her shopping? Even if she still buys frozen meals or goodies, they're more likely to be more healthy than the stuff in the big grocery stores or chains.
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Scout, one thing we need to remember that most of Mom's life she didn't have a refrigerator that had a meat drawer nor a place to get water from the front of the refrigerator door. Like, who wants refrigerator door water? If she prefers bottle water let her have that water.

Now I do have to admit 13 bananas is a bit much, unless she was thinking she was buying for her own family and the children. Can Mom bake banana bread for the family?

With all this new technology it isn't easy for elders to learn. I can just imagine how your Mom feels about cable TV and the complex remote. When our remote went on the fritz this week, I had to turn on and off the TV the old fashioned way, walking up to the TV and push the control buttons that were hidden on the side of the TV.

What does the Aide do when Mom wants to buy all these groceries? Is she able to step in and quickly distract Mom? Or is the Aide not familiar with dementia and how to use "theraputic fibs" to make Mom not do something she wants to do?

I agree with Ahmijoy, it may be time for Mom to move to Assisted Living, if she can budget for the cost. That way she won't need to worry about grocery shopping, all her meals will be prepared, and she will be around people of her own generation. That is what my Dad really enjoyed.
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I read this after I posted on your last question. I have to agree 100% with 97yearoldmom. Your home is not the place for your mom. Why did you take her in? Your reactions to what’s going on are way too intense. You’ll wind up with a health emergency yourself sooner or later. Not to mention the toll it has to be taking on your marriage and your children. I believe there are issues between you and your mom, and the food problem is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

If there are siblings, send up a distress call. If not, start the process now of placing Mom in a facility. It won’t be easy, but you have some choices and decisions to make. I know it’s easy for us to say that, but your posts show your distress and the need for a resolution other than having mom in your home.
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