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I'm sure this will be controversial to some, but our family is divided on this topic. Mom is 90. She was a very independent person, active in church, used to teach line dancing at senior centers, loved her sweets, loved doing family gatherings with lots of food, and loved the freedom of jumping in her car and going anywhere she wanted to go. That was 4 or so years ago. Diagnosed with dementia/Alz and can no longer drive. Has diabetes and can no longer have sweets, Cooking and eating are now basic limited and she gets no enjoyment from either. She has talked for more than a few years that she is ready to 'go home'. Her typical day is to go to mass every morning, after which she comes home and sits in her recliner. Gets up for lunch (usually a sandwich), then goes back to the recliner or goes to lay down, repeat at supper, and then to bed. She has several of us who are in and out, providing 24x7 care. One sister insists that we push to keep her "healthy", and closely monitors everything she eats and drinks. Another sister is more inclined to give her whatever she wants, but after years of this same routine, she rarely asks for anything different. Personally, I would prefer to tell her to forget all the rules and do whatever will give her some joy. Want Maple Nut goodies? Here is the bag, go for it! Want to go take a walk on the beach. Let's go! Want to turn on some music and dance? Big band or country! Bottom line, what is the purpose of life if not to live?

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I'm in the 'party line'. She's dying, whether she eats, drinks and controls her diabetes and other health issues. If there is no joy in life, why do we keep fussing at keeping alive?

My mother always says "You know, if I quit taking my insulin, I'd be dead in a week'. I just say "yep, is that what you want?" No, it's not. She wants attention.

You can have some sweets, and as much music and joy in your life as you like. Mother keeps a countertop covered in candy and cookies. I don't know how well she monitors her diabetes and I don't care. She's 90 and is she wanted to eat chocolate all day, I'd say nothing.

When there is no joy in MY life, I hope I go pretty fast! What's life w/o chocolate?
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I’m 57 years old. I don’t want to live to be 90 and be a burden on my family. My mother is 95 and I’m done arguing with her over anything and everything. If she wants to gamble the rest of her money away so be it. I’ll take her to the casino because she told me that’s the only thing in this world that makes her happy. If she wants to eat cookies all day, so be it. I’m not going to stop her. She is of sound mind and competent according to her doctors and lived alone. Who am I to tell her how to live?
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My 92.5 y/o mother lives in Memory Care & constantly talks about what foods are 'fattening', which drives me bat shit crazy, to tell you the truth. Who really cares what's fattening at this stage of the game??? Your mother, and my mother, should live what's left of their lives checking off things on their bucket lists, living like there was no tomorrow, and eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's, if that's what they're in the mood to do.
Go for the gusto. That's my take on it.
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Nancymc Sep 2019
I agree with you leolonnie1. But if minimizing weight gain is a key value to her, you may want to respect her choice. With one caveat, if she obsesses over avoiding fattening foods as part of mental deterioration, to point of becoming malnourished it should be discouraged.
* I know you didn’t ask for advice, but isn’t this a case of honoring our differences ?
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This line "she rarely asks for anything different" popped out at me. I think there comes a time in life where the things that used to give us joy no longer have the same power to do so, be careful with confusing what you think your mother might want with what she actually does want. If she asks for that walk on the beach or bag of Maple Nut goodies by all means go ahead, but don't assume she is is depriving herself if she doesn't.
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She makes it abundantly clear that she does not need us all telling her what she should or should not be doing/eating/etc.
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I think that quantity without quality is cruel and unusual punishment.

Your mom should be allowed to live her life on her terms. She should have some enjoyment in the things she can do, I think that she has lost enough without losing everything.
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I know I've already piped in here a couple of times but I just had to add, what's so special about eating a bag of M & M's or polishing off a big vat of ice cream etc. I find these days when I eat things like that I don't even enjoy them as much as I thought I would. I end up feeling sick and sorry I ate them. I think it's the depriving yourself of things that make them seem so desirable in the first place.

Instead, allow yourself a treat now and then and don't feel guilty about it instead.
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Kathy4177 Sep 2019
I think the original poster is speaking about his/her loved one wanting treats.
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My dad has congestive heart failure that is the most likely scenario for taking his life. He goes into the hospital every 2-3 months and has fluid drained, he calls it his “tune up” While there he’s always placed on the cardiac diet, and the complaints are loud and constant. His discharge paperwork always reads “low sodium and no fried foods” My dad is nothing if not determined, and there’s usually a stop on the way home for fried chicken and some pie. We spent a long, fruitless time trying to convince him this was a bad idea. Then we came to see that he’s lost so many of the joys of life, his taste buds are dull, and even his main cardiologist doesn’t try to dissuade him, so we backed off. He eats as he pleases, snacks often, loves chocolate and fried anything. And life is much more pleasant since we all backed off
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Yes, indeed, Midkid. You nailed it. Carpe diem! You know what gets me? The way old folks go on and on about the Sweet By and By, Jesus waiting with open arms, pearly gates and Heavenly rest and all that—then when it looks as if all that wonderful stuff might be THEIRS real soon, they backtrack and want to cling to this earthly life...long after they are enjoying it. Long after they have any dignity left, sometimes. Eat. All. The. Things. If relishing ice cream, fried goodies, a bottle of wine, or a big honkin’ bag of M&Ms means you die prematurely at 94 instead of 104, well...
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keithensoma Sep 2019
Yes! Dad telling everyone he is ready 'to go' now, then on his 89th birthday he tells us he wished for 10 more years. LOL
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Personally I would do exactly that.....forget all the rules. The only thing I would deny her is something that made her physically ill and caused her to vomit or have diarrhea or constipation. Beyond that, why not let her have what she wants.
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I agree with the sugar within reason and what everybody else here says. My mom was feeding my naturally skinny and declining dad what SHE wanted/needed to eat - low fat rice, veggies, chicken breast, etc..those kinds of meals. She also said she wanted his cholesterol to stay low ( which was okay, it was her cholesterol that needed more watching. ) Of course my Dad was getting skinnier and weaker so I said screw it and the last 8 months of his life brought him his favorite meals as often as I could, which were things like lasagna and extra cheesy enchiladas . We're talking cheese bomb style enchiladas.

He ate those up. Did his cholesterol rise? Most certainly, but shoot he died of cancer. I regret nothing!

And now I tear up when I'm around enchiladas.
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