I was visiting dad this morning and walked him to lunch before I left. As I was signing out, the aide came up to me and asked what he eats. She said lately he chooses a meal from the menu for each meal but then when it comes, he won’t eat it. The only thing he has been willing to eat is raisin toast! She asked what he eats when I take him out to lunch. Therefore, I am writing down what he eats and will bring a copy to his ALF.
I said he likes pasta. He orders cheese ravioli, or lasagna or spaghetti and he eats that. He likes meatballs and Italian sausages and peppers.
He will also eat fried shrimp at Chili’s if I take him there. When they lived alone, mom and dad used to go to Wendy’s for a burger or to Boston Chicken for a meal with 2 sides. He didn’t always eat the meal though. He also liked to go out to Long John Silver’s for a fish sandwich.
He will almost always eat French Fries. If I get Fries with my meal, I put them on a separate dish and dad eats those along with his ravioli or whatever. (I try to skip the calories though I love them too.)
Dad does NOT eat vegetables. He sometimes eats a salad if he can choose the dressing and put it on himself. He doesn’t eat the peas or broccoli or whatever vegetable is provided. If we aren’t at an Italian restaurant and he doesn’t eat what he ordered, I ask them to bring him ice cream. He will almost always eat the ice cream, even if he didn’t eat anything else.
I think dad’s teeth are not in good shape and the pain from his teeth makes him only want to eat soft foods. He refuses to go to the dentist. He only went once almost 3 years ago when he had a toothache so bad he knew he had to go. The dentist pulled the tooth (and dad wanted me to be right there in the room with him!).
I know lots of older people don’t eat well. Often things don’t taste the same and they don’t like them. The appetite is diminished and they don’t care if they just eat a few bites. And dad has always been a fussy eater.
I remember mom complaining that he only wanted French Fries or Pasta, and I guess he hasn’t changed that much. I am glad his ALF is concerned enough to ask and I am going to make sure to give them some suggestions.
He has gained back much of the weight that he has lost, and that is a good thing. But I don’t want him to live on raisin toast! I will continue to take him out when I can, and will suggest his companions either take him out or bring in some Italian meals for him.
I know the Assisted Living Facility has to please over 40 residents, and many of them don’t hesitate to complain about what they are served or how it is cooked. Dad doesn’t complain, he just pushes it away. It is good they asked. Now I have to make sure I give them enough suggestions so he will have meals he is willing to eat!