Mother's nursing home has asked us to curtail excessive outside snacks. One sibling continues to bring snack items. Any advice?


Due to lack of moderation concerning eating of excessive snack foods brought by family and friends the nursing home had requested that we curtail excessive snacks brought in. Siblings were made aware of this but one sibling continues to bring excessive snack items to mom meaning she won't eat regular meals due to no hunger from snacks. Also, snacks cause stomach upsets and issues with digestion, this was reason nursing home requested stopping excessive snacks. How do I handle this sibling as I am the primary care person for our mom. Mom has been unable to understand why we don't all bring snacks even after reminding her of health issues that develop with them. This is causing a dilemma



My mother used to hoard all her snacks in her bedside table while in her nursing home and those snacks would attract fruit flies, making this a really bad situation. She would wrap the fruit in napkins and hide them away. I know that from her childhood and being a depression baby that it was ingrained in her mind never to throw anything away.
When I was visiting I immediately saw those fruit flies and the staff had told me about having to clean up her “snacks” often.
So....I would secretly clean the drawer out and leave something like one cookie (for example) in there - no fruit but a snack in a zip lock bag and go through her drawer often. My mother loved her sweets and at 88 I wasn’t going to be the food police (she wasn’t diabetic and she was underweight those last few years) but wanted to cooperate with the staff taking care of her. 99% of the time she couldn’t remember this and never made a fuss about it. I would just bring her favorites and sit there while she ate what she could and if there was any left I used to throw it away quickly and say I ate the rest, and while it was a lie, it was ok because she thought I ate it this no waste. 
To many people, food is love. For that family member who persists in bringing in more snacks try to explain that for many seniors who aren’t physically active those snacks are actually bad for her as they prevent your family member from having any appetite to eat nutritious meals.
Good luck to you!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Shane1124

Working as a nurse in a hospital, I can tell you that diet and nutrition play a big role when it comes to overall health, especially for the elderly. Many medications can also greatly alter overall digestion. Snacking can not only upset their stomach, it can cause more serious issues such as constipation and bowel obstruction that could cause hospitalization or even surgery. As a matter of fact, we give almost every patient stool softeners regularly and won't let them leave unless they have had a bowel movement within the last 48 hours. Also, is your mother diabetic? If so that adds a whole new meaning to dietary control.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Caregiverology

I was bluntly told to stop bringing snacks to mom. My private caregiver speaks freely and that is good! I still bring lots of goodies, but I leave it at the second floor nursing station, near mom’s room. The staff enjoys it. Their shifts are long and they really appreciate it!
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Reply to yogagirl

We started out bringing our mom snacks. She has a sweet tooth and we wanted to give her a little pleasure. But it soon became very obvious that she got plenty of snacks at the NH, and had dessert with meals. Out snacks started piling up on her night stand. We all stopped bringing in snacks, because it was simply redundant.

Bringing the occasional non-edible "treat" made more sense. A small plant for her windowsill was popular. A change of seasonable decorations for her room. A magazine or a new crossword puzzle book. Pictures to color. I understand the urge to give things to a parent in a nursing home -- it just as to be things that make the parent happy in a safe way.

I like JoAnn's idea for the sibling to talk to the head nurse. Could you arrange that?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs

Usually, NHs have a snack time. I think the head nurse should talk to ur sibling. Maybe she will listen.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29