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My mother and I are caring for my 97 year old great god-mother. She is on hospice, stays in bed most of the day,doesn't eat much or often, but thankfully is still very present and sharp. She is extremely demanding and controlling. We realize that this is just an attempt to have some control over what is happening to her but has become very difficult to deal with. Daily, she comes up with food demands that send us scrambling to the grocery store or restaurants. Sometimes the her specific restaurant only makes her "prime rib open faced sandwich" on Monday and she wants it on Tuesday. Other times the problem is (in her words) "None of the food places sell it, you're going to have to make it. Let me tell you the recipe". Many times, once we finally are successful in finding and preparing her request, she doesn't want the food any more, or worse, she wants something else.

Can anyone share their strategy for handling demands like this?

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Thank you for the responses. After talking about our options this is what we've ended up doing. We've been at it for three days and the stress has decreased tremendously.
1) Sat down with her and developed list of food she likes from restaurants in the area. We keep this list on the fridge along with the addresses and phone numbers for the restaurants. I also called the restaurants about foods that are only served on certain days and times, and included that information on the list.
2) We also made a list of food that she likes that we can't get at restaurants and are figuring out how to make them in advance and freeze them in small portions so we have them on hand.
3) We now tell her what we are planning for dinner as part of her morning routine.
4) If she has any requests or demands that are outside of what we have planned or have on hand, we tell her "well, we don't have [requested food], we'll have to go to the store and plan on having it later this week."
5) We lie. We've figured out that she can't tell the difference between a steak from "Ruth Crisp's" and a steak from Trader Joe's.
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My father did the same exact thing. For 6 months I cooked big extravagant meals. The grocery bill was HUGE!! Seriously, I cooked a duck for him in February!

Sadly, he was dying of cancer and couldn't eat but a bite or two. He was starving both physically and mentally. He once told me he would lay in bed and dream of food.... he used to be the one cooking all the great things, it was his pride and joy to prepare a big meal for everyone.

Back then it drove me nuts trying to keep him happy food wise. I wish he was still here so I could continue being driven nuts.

Perhaps that's what going on with your loved one?
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Plan meals like you would anyway. If this lady likes a particular dish make it for her from time to time. Otherwise, she has to eat what everyone else is eating. I'd love it if my family catered to me everyday and brought my favorite foods upon demand but since I'm a grown up I realize that this is not the way things work. This behavior is not so much due to a lack of control as it is striving for total control.....over you. Throw a chicken breast and some taters on a plate for her and she can refuse it if she wants to.
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Time for medications that will diminish the tantrums, so give the MD a call. You are dealing with a toddler mentality. Offer her a proper meal, as you would a child, and don't let the wee one hold out for dessert. Make her eat her veggies. Videotape her rant and play it for the doctor, so he can see the problem.
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