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Caregiver to my aunt who is 100 yrs old, still able to get to the table to eat, otherwise, as expected sleeps a lot. She is 90% blind, only has aboutt 15% hearing in 1 ear WITH a hearing aid. There is not much she can do. We try to make meals as pleasant as possible, but this lady is so sweet she will never ever ASK for anything or tell you what she really likes. She also has several missing teeth-has trouble chewing, tends to spit out ANY larger pieces even tiny bits of chicken in crm of chk soup! but she can eat a chicken leg off the bone so part of this is in her mindset! Getting her to eat an adequate quantity is TOUGH. I constantly worry about this, try new things on her, but WAY more foods she doesn't like or simply WON'T eat than there are that she will. We've upped Ensure consumption to 4 a day to try and make up for part of it, but she is losing some weight and strength. Attitude is decent for 100 though, so I don't think she's given up. Eats if prompted but no real appetite

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Some people live for years on Ensure alone. Of course I don't buy Ensure I buy the cheap stuff but it is the same. If your love one can and will still eat of course feed them but there is a time when they refuse and the hopice nurse's say don't force feed. I give my mom only things she likes and that is not always nutritional. The Ensure makes sure she is getting fluids and nutrition. But actully you can live on Ensure alone. But if they will eat feed them.
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Hi there,

I ended up getting Junior's foods for mom and she enjoyed the taste of chicken and veg and mashed potatoes, etc. lasagna and meat sauce, a slew of choices.
Baby Probiotic Oatmeal in the am with fiber and protein powder.

Strawberry Kefir which she would drink right up.

Please know that Ensure is not a meal substitute and Personally I wouldn't go over one a day, but that's me.

bless you heart for taking care of this sweet lady. You are an angel.

lovbob
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I use one of those blending sticks, and it really makes things smooth, and is super easy to clean up. Just stick the business end in mug of hot running soapy water and let it whirl itself clean. An Osterizer type blender doesn't come close to doing what is needed here. Neither does my cheapo food processor.
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My 96 yr old Dad has started doing the same thing. I make him milkshakes with the ensure plus a banana & CHERRIO's. I just use my blender to make everything VERY smooth and he seems to like it. Like everyone else, peanut butter is a staple as a protein in his diet. I've started processing all his food in a small food processor to make it more palatable for him.. I can even get him to eat small bits of barbeque pork (his favorite meat) by doing this.
Good luck with your Mom.
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Yogurts are pretty much our staple now, with Mom's dentures as the defining problem. I couldn't even have those little tiny pieces of fruit in them. Even small basil pieces get stuck around Mom's ill fitting dentures.

I make the yogurts more usable by adding soluble fiber. Most sports drinks are tilted to be high protein/low calories and carbs. Work to find a mixture of these drinks or powders, yogurt (Trader Joe's tends to not have chemicals or HFCS), and other goodies like peanut butter. Mom has a preferred consistency. Now that summer is here, you can make icy drinks.

Oh, new discovery, is electrolyte-rich Coconut WATER (not milk or the syrup) taken from immature coconuts. It is often used by athletes to recover from muscle cramps and exhaustion. Probably good to help seniors stay hydrated. It's pricey, but I get the pure water,then mix with apple juice or into her yogurt.
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MY mom just eats foods that are sweet. purreed friut, yogart, milkshakes , smoothies and hot cerael with lots of sugar. And I give her ensure . You can sneak meds and vit. in any of these.I put peanut butter in her hot cereal for potein. She never knows. Go luck and it shoulds like she is a wonderful lady. And lucky to have you.
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I take solo care of my 104 y.o. grandmother.

A couple of years ago I was thinking, "What would cream of asparagus be like?", which caused me to look up creamed vegetable soups in general. So now I make them all the time, with asparagus, brocolli, artichoke, onion, potato, squash, etc. Various seasonings, of course , with sometimes a little sour cream, and finished off to perfect smoothness with an immersion blender.

If you believe in getting vitamins and minerals from food, this is definitely a great way to go. And pureed food has got to be the easiest for that age group to digest.

Digestive enzymes come in handy also.
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I wanted to add, she has always been a petite lady with a petite appetite, and I do try to keep this in mind. Her activity level is very low of course, so that also has to be factored in. But her small amounts of food plus Ensure are not enough it seems. How do you boost appetite in someone like this? Drugs are out of the question as she does not visit a doctor. She has home health care RN visits, and a DNR order, with additional orders that she wants to 'die at home' no matter what....and we will honor her wishes. There will be NO force-feeding as one 'doctor' recommended in one article on this board (nearly kept me from posting as I do not believe in force feeding unless the patient is the one who agrees) The possible option of taking an appetite booster has it's own side effects and at this point just seems cruel to introduce possible other problems/concerns. She takes ONE med per day and even that she sort of grumbles about, although she admits she realizes how lucky she is! Ideas?? Anyone?
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