Issues with eating, any advice?


My parents are in a great assisted living situation. My dad’s issues are not dementia related but do spiral into medical problems that require ambulance and hospitalization. My mom will not leave their room to go to the dining. She has a tray brought to her. I am torn with forcing her to go and just leaving her alone while he is gone. Has anyone dealt with this?

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Thanks for affirming what I think and feel. Another sibling is pushing her to be more independent. This is one of the smaller issues we have faced in the last 5 months of AL and longer in their home.
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Reply to didiblue52

didiblue52, I would vote for letting Mom eat in her room until your Dad returns. Pick your battles, as far as battles go, this one is so very minor. But I know you worry.

My Dad was the opposite, it was gang way, one had to get out of his way when it was 5:00 and he wanted to go to the dining room. Otherwise my Dad was happy sitting in his room either reading or watching TV. I figure let Dad make his choices to give him a sense of independence.
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Reply to freqflyer

Honestly, and I don't write this critically, but I think it's her choice and it should be honored. It's hard enough for parents to acclimate to assisted living, so I would let this go unless it becomes a problem along the line.

Maybe she doesn't want to participate in activities. My mother didn't either ( although she was in a SNF, not AL), except for music. She found the activities boring; she would rather read. And I agreed with her. So did my sister, who was a psychiatric nurse.

Ask yourself what the reasons are for pursuing this? Is she unhappy? Otherwise eating well?
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Reply to GardenArtist

She does go in when my dad is there. Fortunately he is released tomorrow. She was born with a deformed hand and does not want to explain. She has been meeting others but will not leave my dad for activities. He is not interested. I need to sit down with facility folks and get their advice. I am not a POA but my voice is heard by my siblings. I know God has a plan but this is really tough
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Reply to didiblue52

Does you mom go to the dining room when your dad is there? Or is she staying in the room, because she doesn't want to enter dining room alone?

I might speak with the rep at the facility about it. The regular AL that my LO first attended had a rule that at least 2 meals per day HAD to be eaten in the dining room. IT was designed to prevent isolation, imo. But, they made the trip to the dining room fun, by announcing it with enthusiasm and encouragement. They also had assigned seating, so everyone had a place and no one felt left out. Could they arrange that for her?
But, if she really enjoys her privacy, I don't know that I would force her to enter the dining area. I wonder if her making some friends who invite her to join them would help any. The social director should be able to offer some input and assistance with it.

I might also check to make sure she's not depressed. Sometimes, that can cause one to not want to mingle or eat much.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1