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Old 02-02-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
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Food for an invalid

My ex-FIL is coming home from the hospital tomorrow, after another heart attack. His kidneys are failing...has to have dialisis...his heart is very tired and he is quite weak. He is also a diabetic, and 84 years old, but a tough old nut. Every time the doctors say he's on his last legs, he comes back.
I think the world of him, not only as my daughter's grandfather, but as a good man who has always treated me like a daughter...even after I divorced his son and remarried.
He loves my potato soup, so I plan to make him some tonight. I wonder if any of you have other ideas of good things that might tempt his appetite.


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Old 02-02-2006, 06:15 PM   #2
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how about some chicken noodle soup... that's what my family begs for when they are sick.

I think it's great that you're going to take care of him!

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Old 02-02-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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My dad was in the same way with a heart attack and diabetes. We made him lots of fresh fish such as shrimp cocktail, but in the end all he really wanted was a hot dog. I wish I would have granted that wish.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:59 PM   #4
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We watch over an elderly gentleman that lives near us. I know he doesn't have a big appetite so in addition to a main dish, I take him fresh fruit and cheese that I chop up in bite-sized pieces. I think the small size appeals to him.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:06 PM   #5
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A risotto would be good!
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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There are all kinds of great things to make, but it really depends on the person and the want. Quite often the simplest item is most appreciated. The body is closing down and the brain is remembering past joys. My mom, a fabulous gourmet cook, in her last months wanted french fries, grilled cheese sandwich with bacon, tomato soup with a dash of oregano, a fresh peach, egg salad, etc. simple tasty fare. I hate to think that we deny our elderly loved ones a few simple food requests because the fat or colesterol might be bad for them, or because we think something fancier would be nicer. Just as our tastes matured as we grew older, so tastes change again toward the end. Crispy salty comfort food, simple savory items etc are very appealing.

Just my take on it, but it sure seems to make sence. So if your potato soup was a favorite, give it a try and ask what would you like??
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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I know a little something about what your ex FIL is going through. There is a good chance that he really just doesn't want to eat, he may be that advanced in his disease. Often the desire for food fades. I agree with the earlier post. Whatever he wants in whatever quanitity is perfect, if he is as feeble as you believe. I am so sorry about his suffering. It's awful to watch, isn't it?

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Old 02-02-2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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Connie, I agree with what Jenny said in the last post.Find out his favorite foods as a younger man..I remember my dad loved not the meat from a poast, but the gravy it made, he loved it over bread,potatoes,rice, he adored fruit of any kind..After years of being heart careful, he looked longinly at eggs, bacon and toast and jam..When he began to fail, he and mom were here with me,so we through caution to the winds and he got the foods he loved..I can remember close to the end, lifting him from his wheel chair to the bed, he looked at me and pointed to some watermelon, by then he didn't speak much just short sentences and I asked you want some dad? He nodded yes, and we spent about a half hour cutting and eating that melon sitting on his bed..Shortly after, that night, he said, I love you and never said another word, he then, began to refuse food, next was water,and I had to watch him slowly leave us. Hospice was a godsend for me and so I knew and was able to get everyone there the night he left for good. I can still see even today 3 years later, the grin the night we sat and ate watermelon..Hang the diabetes, hang the heart, make the last of his days, exactly that, HIS days..Feed him the things he loves.

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Old 02-03-2006, 01:59 AM   #9
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In this situation I would say talk to his doctor about his diet restrictions and put it to him this way, "If this was YOUR Dad - what would you feed him?"

I know - been there, done that.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:44 AM   #10
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I'm w/Michael on this - you need to talk w/his doc or a nutritionist; I know renal failure diets and diabetic diets can combine to make some pretty hefty restrictions - but once you know what the guidelines are, you can work within those to make some pretty tasty meals!

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