Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Getting Mom to Eat

Susan at Literary Mama writes a wonderful story about food and it’s role in family life and memories. I was particularly struck by her comment:

After my father died and my mother was living alone, she slipped into depression and a certain apathy. "I wasn't hungry today," she'd report on the telephone, three thousand miles away, "so I just had some Diet Coke and potato chips for dinner." Some days, she'd alternate and have Diet Coke and a Hostess snowball cupcake. Pretty quickly, we realized she was not doing well on her own and we arranged to have her come stay with us -- first for visits of a few months, and eventually, on a permanent basis.

How I relate to this! I ran into the same thing with my mom several hundred miles away. She’d come home from visiting my step dad at the nursing home and have a drink and then be too tired and too depressed to fix anything for dinner. Some days all she’d eat was a tiny McDonald’s hamburger for lunch (and we all know how much protein Is in those things!), but often not even that. My brother took to calling about dinner time every evening, encouraging her to eat. I was glad. It was one less thing for me to nag her about.

When we moved Dad to the board and care home, the delightful owner began inviting Mom to join them for lunch. She, of course, declined, not wanting to be a burden. I, of course, encouraged her to eat. I suggested she offer to pay for lunch. At the nursing home, a guest tray was $5.00 and the food wasn’t worth eating. Here, the food actually looked appealing, so she offered to pay. The owner declined, but they eventually settled on $1.00 per meal. Now every day I know that Mom is getting one tasty and balanced meal. In fact, she often complains that there’s too much food, and she often brings home a doggy bag for dinner. She likes the food and has stopped losing weight. One problem solved.

God bless Shaina, who gives from her heart and makes sure that Mom, who isn’t her patient, stays healthy.

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1 comment(s):

Thank you so much for the quote and the link! That was a surprise and a thrill.

I'm glad your Mom is eating now, too.

By Anonymous Susan, at 3:43 PM  

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