Wednesday, March 1, 2017

No Dessert until After You Eat Your Dinner!

By: Tom Callahan
       Only Seniors, LLC
       Crisis Manager and Consultant

Remember when you were growing up and your mother told you, “No dessert until you finish your dinner.”  She also imparted other words of wisdom like, “Eat all your vegetables to grow up big and strong."  It was instilled in you that a balanced mean contained selections from the five basic food groups. 

So, why is it that when you now go to visit your elderly mother, she has cabinets full of cookies, pop-tarts and Entenmann’s pastries but nary a vegetable in sight?  Who is this woman and where has your mother gone?

This phenomenon is quite common and a sign of several different issues. 

If your mother is single, understand that it has become more of a chore to cook dinner for one than it was to cook for the whole family.  

It is also a sign of depression.  Sugary foods are a treat and provide short term comfort.  When mom is feeling lonely or sad, she turns to pop-tarts and the sadness disappears…temporally. 

It can also be a sign of dementia.  Mom is forgetting basic skills like cooking but she remembers how to open the Entenmann’s box.  And as stated above, that box brings pleasure.

So, what is one to do? 

The first thing to do is realize it is an issue.  The next thing to do is to make a plan.   Sit down and talk with mom to see what might be causing the issue.  Dine with mom a couple times a week.  Make sure she goes home with leftovers in microwavable containers.  Look into some meal delivery programs, (store bought frozen dinners aren't the best option).  Check in with mom to make sure she is eating.

Proper nutrition is important at all ages.

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