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Discussion Starter #1
My ex-mil has reached a point where she can't remember how to cook, but is capable (for now) of microwaving food. My son lives in her house, in a back sort of apartment and checks in on her mornings and evenings. My daughter drops in on her most days and takes her to the grocery store. It came up over Easter that she started having trouble with cooking even simple things. This has now fallen to me, which I'm fine with. I work nearly fulltime and babysit my grandson and still recoving from a medical condition too. My ex-mil likes my cooking, but wants more variety. Ideas for meals I can make with my available time? TIA
 

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Not sure what you're currently cooking, or what her dietary restrictions may be. .. but here is a list of some of the things I made for my parents and froze in single meal containers.

chili/cornbread
chicken/dumplings - mixed veggies
pot pies
meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
chicken/rice, stewed tomatoes, sweet potato wedges
beef roast, diced potatoes, peas
baked pork chop with cream of mushroom soup gravy, squash medley, roll
turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce


I'd also make tiny, individual cakes, pies, and various cookies - then freeze in single servings to defrost and eat.
 

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Can you freeze one plate of what ever your fixing yourself for a couple of weeks and take to her? What ever you fix for your home put a plate in the freezer for her every day or twice a day. How ever you cook for you.
 

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Not sure what to suggest for you.

We have a uncle in the family that now gets his meals through the office for the aging for our county. Meals on wheels. It can be free if one is not able to pay for it. Otherwise, suggested price is $ 2.50 for a hot lunch and then the same money for a supper of a sandwich, milk, and fruit. One can also buy frozen meals for the weekend.
This way someone comes to his house 5 times a week, and if he does not answer the door, then they have 2 phone numbers to call to find out where he is. So the visit takes care of 2 problems. A meal and a daily check in. It's working :)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, good ideas. It's tough to get ahead of the curve with her, so it ends up being 2 of the same meals every week or two. For entrees I've made: meatloaf, hamburger strogonoff, spaghetti with different sauces, ziti with meatballs, pork tenderloin (she thought this was funny chicken because she herself never bought tenderloin), beef stew,chili, lentil soup with hm bread, cornbread, muffins, breaded chicken cutlets, pork chop, roast beef. I like to make soups for her, but she doesn't seem to remember them. She ate 11/2 qts of beef stew in 2 days. I've discovered then when I bring sweets over she will eat them instead of everything else unless I'm sitting with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd love to get her meals on wheels, but she doesn't trust anyone other than her daughter (who lives 1000+ miles away and cannot move) and the kids and I. She's driven out everyone we've hired to help and could not tolerate a nursing home or other care facility. I'm afraid it's us or she will want to stop living, as dramatic as it sounds.
 

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It may not be feasible but can you do a once a month cooking for her or some variation of that? Also, it isn't optimal but everyone in while (dietary restrictions kept in mind) a store bought frozen dinner isn't going to be a deal breaker. Maybe there is someone in your local area who cooks/prepares meals for others that you can purchase a few to stay ahead of the game or a local technologies school with a culinary arts program, even if they don't/can't prepare that kind of meal, perhaps the instructor has connections to someone who does and would be willing to help out occassionally for a nominal fee.

Some of my residents prefer "goodie" over staple's also as does my FIL, I think that it may be a combination of what tastes better and is easier to chew/swallow etc. Maybe you could make a few snacks/goodies to graze on but freeze the rest with the meals as individual deserts so that she is cognizant of the meal also.

Good luck to you.
 

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I'm unsure of her dietary restrictions, but my in-laws (elderly) "forget" to eat and my mil is really forgetting how to cook. They don't want to fix much....and wanted a variety of things....so they have tried the Banquet frozen dinners...they are .88 each....They have lots of choices so my in-laws are happy and satisfied for the moment...plus they don't have to turn on the stove etc.
 

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I don't know if someone said this but Angel food offers frozen cooked meals for elderly and they change monthly

My mom loves these angel food meals. They are heat and serve meals she can cook them in the oven or microwave.

The cost is 10 meals for $28
 

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Meals

Some one already suggested meals on wheels I work with the elderly usually if I have client who does not trust any one I go with the person who is doing the assessment and we request a family member be present that way the client feels more comfortable. Also I ask the clients family if some one can be with the client the first few times the meals are delivered to help the client adjust . Hope that helps .
 

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Can you get a home health aide to come in (with you) to see her in street clothes as a friend of yours? then visit alone...

I know where I worked they were big on the medical clothes to be professional; yet to the person that does not want to be taken care of they are intimidating;

I stopped by a few times in street clothes after meeting them and it seemed to help, I became an acquaintance rather than a oger who was judging their ability to take care of themselves...

As for the food; leftovers of yours or frozen meals; you didn't mention the age (from what I read) but at this point it really becomes keeping the calories in, banquet, healthy choice, weight watchers, lean quisine any of the above would offer them a choice.
 

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Hugs to you Marjorie......have gone through the same thing with my dad.

I made an extra plate of whatever I was fixing. Also did lots of hearty soup but doesn't sound like that will work for you. Always tried to put some sort of gravy or 'liquid' type thing (sometimes just the juice) on the meat before I froze it so it wouldn't be tough/dry if he didn't eat it for a week or so. I found many things freeze much better than I thought they would. Would wrap up single servings of bread type things, rolls, cake, cookies (even store bought if that is all I had) etc.

One word of warning.....my bil's mom was eating lots of TV dinners and her doctor told her to STOP. They are very high in salt. The Dr. told her that the nutrional value is just not there for a steady diet of them....and even without blood pressure trouble most older people do not need/shouldn't eat all that salt.

Good luck.....this could be a stressful time and don't forget to take care of yourself during this time!!!
 
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