My Mom won't eat. Any advice?

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She lives alone at home. I send over meals I cook. She doesn't like them. Im not a great cook :). Okay, so we got meals on wheels, and she doesn't like that because they come at different times between 10am and 3pm, which is hard.
Now we are ordering food and having it sent. It is getting expensive. I am not cheap, as we are also doing many other things, but it this part of being 87, being ill with heart disease, CHF, and/or mild dementia?

Any ideas, anyone. I feel guilty. Thanks.
Kate

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anonymous226569. I found a clue to a possible answer in your most recent response. Your mother likes the food from the local Chinese restaurant (I don't know about the other local place). Good Chinese food has many different flavors and tastes and the Chinese have perfected the ying and yang, the sweet with the sour. They know what to eat and in which course of the meal and what kind of tea should be drink with it. I was never so healthy as the times my husband and I spent several weeks in Asia and China on business and we ate Chinese almost continuously as a result. If I were to live in China I am certain I would add to the shortage of sharks just based on my love of shark's fin soup alone. I think you should make an appointment to meet with the owners of the Chinese restaurant and see if you can work out a way to put together a list of a variety of their specials and other excellent dishes as they recommend or that your mother has shown a great love for. These meals can be delivered on a schedule that takes into account all of the parameters for a successful home meal system. You should include your Mother early in the process, and you might even set up a special tasting meal, wherein the restaurant supplies in addition to what your Mother likes some of their own recommendations of their own in order to fulfill her needs: things that will be healthy for her as well as sources of specific vitamins, and then the foods as prepared and used by the Chinese in their many cuisines for thousands
of years. And if you ask me you should always include dumplings! Does your brother now take care of feeding your Mother? Does he warm her dishes? If not perhaps you can work something out with the proprietors of the Chinese restaurant . Something like her food will be delivered at a certain time every day, and in a specific container and at a temperature at which it is ready to be eaten, and then all that needs to be done is to sit at table, uncover the containers, and dig in. This will be accompanied by hot tea and can be followed up with a nice sliced orange and her daily fortune cookie. I don't know where your mother lives but I can see giving this a chance, with perhaps the proviso that one day a week there will be a meal of another sort: a fresh tuna salad sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich, with a side of fresh cole slaw. Please consider something creative like this to see that your mother continues to enjoy eating and enjoy those things that life still has to offer her. Good luck and God bless.
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She wants food brought in from the Chinese place or the restaurant up the block. This is an expensive endeavor. My brother describes her as stubborn now, but she was always the most laid-back, easy-going, kind person as all who knew her said. So I think it is related to very early dementia.
She cannot cook for herself. My food is awful to her (I don't blame her :) ... meals on wheels tastes bad ... don't know what to do.
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My first thoughts were that she's unhappy with her situation and declining health, mad about it and taking it out on you. Caregivers are often the first to feel age related dissatisfaction and wrath. Sometimes they just get so mad they become stubborn and won't cooperate.

There's a remote possibility of another factor. We learned from our neurologist late into the cardiac care process that Amiodarone can cause loss of taste and smell.

Dad had initially taken that before his cardiologist switched to Toprol XL. But the damage was done. He can taste his favorite foods like ribs but can't tell if food is spoiled. And other things just don't have much taste at all for him.

If that's by any chance your mother's case, inability to taste the food probably makes it seem unappealing.

One option is to ask HER to list her favorite foods and tell her you'll try to make or order them. If she says (as I kind of suspect) that nothing appeals to her, there might be something else going on. It might not be a bad idea for a good blood workup by her primary care physician, especially since you write that she's changed a lot in the last 6 months.

Has she ever had chemo? That can also affect the taste buds.

I have also noticed that my father is gravitating more toward sweets than he ever used to. I try to compensate by taking him out to dinner for a slab of ribs; that seems to help and at least there's protein whereas in sweets there's not much nourishment,

Hope you find some solutions.
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Thank you for the utube discussion re stress. It was good. Change the subject is a good idea.
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My dad was beginning to get senile several years ago. But I didn't know that. All I know is that the food he loved to eat, he no longer liked it. The food he didn't like, he still didn't like. It seems his taste buds have changed. You may need to experiment with your mom and figure out which food she liked and disliked. It could be that she now prefers sweet food or maybe salty food. My dad ended up liking only tomato catsup and sauerkraut. Imagine him putting these 2 in his food.

There's a video that you might find interesting - on how you can respond to your mom. It's Teepa Snow and she has a mini series on it. Give it a try. I think you might like her video 2 because that covers the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, etc...)

youtube/watch?v=sUgPm8RMa48
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Lost, That would be so great, but I cannot reason with her. If I were to mention money, she would say I was "throwing it in her face". Her personality has changed so much over the past 6 months, I finally have to believe the doctors are correct. I have so many issues, I don't know what to do. She needs in home care every day. I don't live with her. I cannot afford that. I pay for a woman once a week to clean, and also other forms of support ... the point is I asked her to have the City come in and she said "they don't do anything and I don't want it. Well, its true, public care is a pain. We went through this when she fell two years ago. It was havoc but private care on top of everything else is just too much to ask of my husband. We are at retirement age ourselves. Brothers don't have any money. One brother is kind of running the medical show and make sure to keep me out of the loop as regards her health status reports from doctors. never answers an email. I just feel like a total failure at this and don't know why my brother, who is doing a huge part of this, thinks he is doing it all. He has absolutely no idea the money end of it here. My mother has no income other than a very small social security check, so we supplement everything and have for many many years. We tell no one.
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my nan turned like this when she started with dementia, she will only eat very posh meals out or sit at home and eat a extreme amount of sweets and toast, i know it may not be a great idea but maybe sit down with her and say heya mum im making a meal plan for the week, what kind of meals would you like, but if she insistent on having food delivered then make sure she is paying for it,sit down with her and say so we have £20 electric bill and £20 gas then £80 for your food delivery and let her see how much she is spending, this might shock her into cutting back, im sorry its not great advice. good luck xxxx
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