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The aging process is nasty in all sorts of ways but meal times can be stressful. First off I would like this to be a positive response only question please - Don't witter on about how bad something is in a care facility that is not the purpose of this question - those how follow me know exactly who I am talking about so no need for me to explain further

The simple answer from my doctor for my 93 year old Mum is that providing there is no reason for not doing so you give them whatever they want. So for example if they are diabetic you can't follow that rule but if there is no reason for not following it our doc says give her whatever she wants. Well we had 2 days of cake and sweets and biscuits then it was scampi and french fries for 4 days, then it was cheese in any which way she asked for it and now we seem to have righted ourselves and are back to eating food again in a normal manner. Who'd of thunk it.

What are your experiences with this taste issue or the I don't want food issue? Does it drive you as nutty as it does me?

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Oh Jude, frisbees make excellent toy gifts with hidden gps trackers inside.
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I can throw a frisbee!
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Oops forgot to say that my Mom can't smell or taste.. But acts like she can..
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I NEVER ask Mom "how's your dinner"? I know I won't like the answer! I just put it in front of her and if she eats it , she eats it..

I'll make something I know she'll like.. But then again you never know..
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my parents are pretty good about food as long as its sweet or tastes like oatmeal
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Oh send yes indeed there is Mum used to just slide it off the table if she didn't want food and say it was an accident and she does still revert to that now and again. But if she is really 'on one' she uses it like I used to with a frisbee (do you call it that or a flying disc?) either way it goes a lot further and makes a whole lot more mess. I have found a solution though.....today despite it being the very worst weekend in the history of my very long life (my DIL is leaving my son and taking his only son and my only grandson with her - no warning just bang she's leaving and we don't know where to) I bought a childs plate with a suction bottom that Mum can't lift. Sorry I was soon not going to mention my grandson but I am in so much pain over it .....sorry peeps totally off topic xxxx
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There was a book about a married man who wrote something like: Journal of Best Practices.
He had aspergers, and was not only finicky, it is common not to appear for dinner in real time when it is served. He explained that his wife, understanding his difficulty, would place his dinner on the table, cover it, and she eats alone. Don't worry about it spoiling, people with aspergers also seek out older, not so hot food.
So, why am I cooking and trying to hold the family together, explain that part to me again?
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Is there a special technique to lobbing a plate? Maybe missing the sliding glass door?
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Gleefully, I am moving into the kitchen to have some cheesecake for my lunch. Everyone has cheered me up with your stories, though while the nasty families are a sad case, the way you describe it is great.
Recalling my sister visiting, making expresso, giving one to my husband, then saying to give me the dregs because I don't know the difference anyway! Right in front of me, not even from the other room.
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Oh Eddie I am so glad its not just me that is driven crazy by this ridiculous behaviour with food. I don't get chance to lob the plate ...Mum will do that if she is in a mood. I just find it distressing to bother to cook something I know she liked yesterday only to hear her say she has never liked it and then throw it on the floor. Oh not deliberately ....never deliberately ....i didn't mean to do it....(only ever said if I explode). Funny how she has never yet 'accidentally' dropped a dessert
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LOL! I had to look up the pollo guisado, sounds good to me! Man oh man Eddie, are you ever stepping up with the boundaries!!
Cap, I'm not sure there is too much nutritional value in the cardboard, it might contribute to the constipation problems!
Honestly though, it depends on what your goals are, whether you are looking to improve their health of just keep them fed until the end. Unless they are at death's door from lack of calories it won't hurt for them to miss a meal or two if they don't like what you are serving. Sometimes my mom will dine on hot chocolate or ensure, cheese and goldfish crackers, with maybe a little fruit slipped in. It's all calories. And the fact she can nibble away at it without having me feed her is a bonus.
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CARDBOARD !!
its cheap and since they dont discriminate either way -- its a good opportunity for you to shave the old grocery bill ..
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Say what? I had an episode with Mom yesterday, who showed up at my doorstep unannounced and uninvited with two of my moochy, trifling sisters. Temperature was around 10 degrees, so I let them in. Served them coffee, hot cocoa, cheddar cheese, and those sinful Maria cookies. As they parked their flabby, lumpy behinds in the living room, I put on Netflix.

In the kitchen, I made jazmin rice and a large salad to go with the pollo guisado already made. My diabetic Mom said "This coffee tastes like s__t." Ivette, laughing her a__ off, said "Betcha he used a dirty sock." Naomi said "Cocoa is nasty, but I don't want to hurt his feelings." She poured it at the base of a life-like decorative tree, not realizing it was made of plastic. They thought I couldn't hear. I also noticed the brown liquid seeping from under the tree but pretended not to see it. "Dinner will be ready soon. I gotta go pick up my laundry, so make yourselves at home."

Cinderfella finally snapped the second Mom said my chicken had no flavor. "You should go to cooking school." I picked up her plate and threw it out the window. "You frigging ingrate!" I grabbed their coats and threw them in the hallway. "There's a cuchifrito across the street. Order a heart attack on plate. Don't forget the Mexican bakery where the dopefiends hang out. Hope your sugar spikes! ... Nasty ghetto cockroaches."

Trying to flip the script on me, my sisters called a couple of hours later asking what they could've possibly done to be treated so badly. "Mom is all shaken up about it." I repeated everything they said in the living room. They claimed to be joking. "Was pouring the cocoa in the tree a joke too? ... You all disrespected me and my home, so I'm supposed to apologize? ... Get the ___ out of here."

I've never gone postal like this and feel so good about it.

Anyway, back to your Mom. If she's fairly lucid and can move about, she can feed herself. I don't see any valid reason why the entire family has to suffer.
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My Mother lost her taste about a year and a half before she died.Mother said she always liked certain things because of its t exture though.I added a lot of Hershey's syrup to her 1 Ensure a day and cherry jello was good to her.She loved root beer floats and slushes.The last 5 months of her life,she wanted Campbells(only)chicken noodle soup,mashed potatoes with brown gravy,and jello every single night whether she ate it or not on her plate.In fact,the night before she left,she ate 2 bites of mashed potatoes and gravy and jello too.I'd say sweets were the best thing but she said she couldn't taste anything.Oh,and I will never eat mashed potatoes and gravy again.......and meatloaf was also her meat favorite thing.Good luck with this.I practically came to hate dinnertime some days.
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Mom has been like that for the past 10 years. She's anorexic, hates food, looks at her plate like its about to jump up and bite here. But put candy, cookies, cake or ice cream in front of her and she will eat it. Taste buds deteriorate so some elders get no pleasure out of eating. But the tongue receptors for tasting sweet still are there so that is why they like sweets. At 101, as long as she gets the calories and nutrients it doesn't matter much. She gets supplements in the NH all of which are disgustingly sweet (and I used to bring her ensure and cakes, etc when she was living in AL) Its either that, or she wouldn't eat at all.
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I give mom whatever she wants when I can. At her age and poor health what difference will it make if she wants ice cream or sweets all day. She wasn't supposed to live this long anyway.
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I just remember, some whiting toothpaste and whiting mouthwash will deaden the taste buds. Not sure how many elders use those products, but just in case one does look into that.

That problem happened with me after a week of using a strong whitening toothpaste.... good heavens, where on earth did my taste buds go, it was rather scary at first. Once I stopped using that toothpaste, then things started tasting better :)
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Another thought - our neurologist told us that Amiodarone (heart med for A-fib) can cause loss of the senses of smell and taste. I don't recall how long or the doses at which this occurs, but the loss of taste did start after Amiodarone had been prescribed. Fortunately, the cardiologist changed that to Toprol XL, but I think some of the damage had already been done.
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I've seen the sweetness craving as well, but try to counter it with buying and suggesting accompanying the sweets with something really delicious - a favorite food such as ribs, or good hearty chicken pot pie.

I've also tried to emphasize the danger of too much sugar and lack of good stable foods in maintaining energy levels. It does work sometimes.

A bigger issue I've deal with was chemo induced loss of taste. None of the favorite foods were appealing. We finally found that good quality fruit juices and salty foods were more tempting. It was really hard, though, trying to find a balance between what was appealing and what was healthy. I've read that chemo can have that effect.
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I noticed my parents taste buds were starting to fail when there were more sweet items on Mom's grocery list then ever before. Oh my gosh, all the Little Debbies... chocolate chip muffins.... apple or blueberry pies.... yikes, a sale on Tastycakes, so stock up... can after can of whip cream... cartons of fudge whirl ice cream, etc.

Oh well, my parents were in their 90's, no health issues with sugar, so I believe when they reach that age they should eat what they want. If they want Shredded Wheat cereal 3 times a day, so be it :0

One my Mom had to go into long-term-care, the only things she liked was mashed potatoes, and Boost with ice. Fine, just as long as she ate something.
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You are much more tolerant than I would be. In my opinion it is just like dealing with picky little kids, you make a nice meal that you all should enjoy and they are expected to eat it! Occasionally my mom will ask for something special and when I fuss around making it she will ask "what am I eating?", so you really can't win.
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