When Mom won't eat her food in the hospital, the nurses want me to eat it. I feel guilty. What would you do? - AgingCare.com

When Mom won't eat her food in the hospital, the nurses want me to eat it. I feel guilty. What would you do?

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Some of it is tasty. The hospital caters to the Italian community so the food has a strong Italian accent. It's more edible than the coffee shop, and the cafeteria in the basement (open to the public and employees) serves the same food as for the patients. They bring menus and food even when Mom was marked as fasting.


I hate to see food wasted but I feel guilty eating Mom's meal, whether she picks at it or not. The nurses are happy when she tries to eat -- but I don't think they would be pleased at Mom eating whatever I bring in to eat for me -- including French fries, sushi wrap, flavored coffee, homemade cookies. (No more than one bite, I promise). I even brought some of it home to eat the next day.



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@Profechari thank you for touching base. This site isn't very easy to use on a dialup connection, so I usually have to wait till late at night to write.

On March 9, Mom was moved to a convalescent home. the estimate is that it would be 2-3 weeks, but she can stay for 30 days before fees kick in. We have been seriously misled about what is supposed to take place here. Her days consist of meals, pills, the occasional vomiting episode, and an almost-daily visit from me. she has yet to see a doctor, and the first inkling of a physio was only yesterday. She's enjoying it more than I am. Oh and did I mention the place has been under flu quarantine since before we arrived, and continuing for another week?!

But to stay on topic about food: In this place, she is eating like a queen. chicken breast with honey sauce -- pepper steak -- Veal Stroganoff -- ok bacon omelets are disgusting but some meals are better than others. I can eat there if I buy an $8 meal card, I'm on my third one so far. (If I don't take the soup, because soup is not my thing, it is only 7 punches on the card instead of 10.) However due to the "flu precautions" officially I am not allowed to eat with her. I have to be segregated (and occasionally locked into) the basement cafeteria (and in a designated spot for outsiders), or we both have to be shut into Mom's minuscule room like lepers. Unlike the hospital, they do check what the patients eat and don't eat. I do not sneak food in to her, except for one bite of a green velvet cupcake I made for a St. Pat's potluck.
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I also cannot fathom ANYTHING at the hospital looking good to me. I will never forget that the first "meal" brought to me after the C-section when I had my son was a BOILED trout. So completely and utterly disgusting. I had been fasting, then on liquids only...and they bring me this..thing. He's 37 yo and to this day I have a hard time eating trout.

If your mom's intake is being measured, don't eat her food. I know it seems wasteful, but-better to waste it then have her drs think she's eating well.
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I have to admit that in all my long life I've not considered eating someone else's hospital food. Now I'll probably think about this question anytime I visit someone in the hospital and I'll want to grab their food and run out the door with it. :-D

Really, I can't remember ever being that hungry visiting someone. The hospital cafeteria usually has a good selection of food that provides a brief respite for family when someone is in the hospital. I do enjoy visiting the cafeteria.
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How are you doing, rwarren69? I haven't checked in very often, but I have wondered about you and your mom.
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Good point, freqflyer. I remember being in the same situation and telling the nurses that I felt guilty eating my mom's food, to which they replied that it would just be thrown away anyway. In our case, they were doing precisely what you said, making a note of her eating and drinking habits. My mom was losing weight and wouldn't eat very much, so I always made sure I told the nurses when I took her milkshakes (her favorite). As far as guilt, I figured that the insurance and I were paying for the food, and it would be thrown away. So, rwarren, I don’t think you should feel guilty at all under those circumstances. Just let the nurses know what you are doing.

Rwarren, did you get my long response sharing some methods that worked with my mom and me? It involved some real life experiences with another situation. Someone, who evidently knew more than I and had a year of law classes (I think) disagreed. It was in the response to you, too, but it was taken down. I just wondered if you got it? You sound better! Sorry about your mom. If she were in the process of working up to a gall bladder attack when you were so frustrated with her, it is no wonder! That is a unique and usually excruciatingly painful experience! Hope to hear from you soon.
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I would be careful about nibbling at whatever is one the food tray that was given to your Mom.... some places measure to see how much a patient had eaten. I remember my Dad digging into Mom's food tray that she didn't want and for me to hear later that Mom ate all her lunch.

And be careful about bringing in food for Mom to eat, as that won't be counted as part of her daily intake. I suggest you talk to your Mom's head nurse to see what is permissible.
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