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89yo mom is almost completely blind from macular degeneration. Can barely feed herself but will not let anyone help or feed her. It's so painful to watch and takes forever. I've told her "use your fingers" and I make food that is finger friendly...and she gets very indignant and states "I'm not a toddler". How do blind people eat?

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My Mom, who was in her 90's, had macular degeneration and was legally blind. She could see out of the corners of her eyes as the center was a grey fog. I don't know how she did it, but she still was able to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for my Dad who helped her a bit. Nothing fancy. Mom still used a fork and spoon, but knives to cut up anything was difficult.

One thing I noticed, my Mom wouldn't allow my Dad and I to touch anything in her kitchen... well she was pretty much that way most of her adult life... but when the blindness started she was really strict. That way in her memory she knew where everything was.

Therefore when she made a meal, she would put the food on her plate, thus she knew where the food was within that plate. She had it down to a routine.
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I think there must be more going on than loss of vision that makes her so slow, my mom lived on her own for years and managed quite well despite being legally blind with almost total loss of vision in one eye and deteriorating macular degeneration in the other.

That said, there are "normal" foods that are easier to eat without making her feel babyish: one bowl meals like casseroles and stews, sandwiches cut into fancy triangles or fingers, soup served in a mug rather than a bowl, it would also help if things like meats are pre cut into bite sized pieces. There is adaptive dinnerware such as slant scoop dishes and plate bumper guards that can be helpful, as well as being conscious of serving foods on contrasting coloured plates to make it easier to find (for example mashed potatoes on a blue plate vs a white one).
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You ask a very good question, one for which I have no answer. I've known 2 people with MD but they were getting shots to help keep the progression at bay.

I'm interested to see what other posters suggest.

One thought is to break up the meals and have less at each of the 3 regular meals so it doesn't take her so long. I'm sure it's frustrating for her as well.

Just wanted to share my concern for you and your mother and hope that other answers will guide you.
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