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  1. #1
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    How can I get my father to eat healthier?
    My father is 74 years of age and blind. He has Congestive Heart Failure. I now live with him. I have a difficult time explaining and helping him to eat right. What should I do? I took him to the doctor yesterday, and his heart is working only 27-30%. His heart muscles are weak, but he is doing pretty good. My father has been blind for 50 years. He lived independantly until February this year. My father has high blood pressure, boderline diabetes as well. He still wants to eat what he wants.

    I asked this question in (took out spam) but I would like to know more before I proceed any further to take precautions.

    Please advise.

    Angela
    Last edited by Trust; September 7th, 2009 at 04:25 PM. Reason: spam

  2. #2
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    And this is when you notice that ABW is #6 in Google for dieting and getting healthy

    I'm not a dietitian.. but I do know that parents rarely take advice from their children. Ultimately, all you can do is tell them the facts and if they decide not to take them.. well, that's their own choice. And perhaps when you are that age, you might also decide to make the same choice.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    What Dynamoo said. It's just about impossible to get an elderly parent to change their diet and lifestyle if they have no desire to change it. Older people lose their sense of taste and may add additional salt so their food is more flavorful. Lecturing your dad won't help. You must be the example...learn to cook delicious, low-sodium meals that you enjoy and eat. Not to mention, you are helping yourself as you get older. Google "salt free cooking," "salt free seasonings," "salt free recipes," etc.

    Much of this is a psychology game—if he feels you are trying to change him, he won't even give something a chance. Make small changes, for example, a salt-free or low sodium side dish.Ask him to "take a taste," that you're trying a new recipe and want his opinion.

    A link to a PDF for CHF diet from the Southern New Hamshire Medical Center. Also has guides for shopping & checking sodium contents: http://www.snhmc.org/extras/Preventi...n/diet/chf.pdf

    Edema may also be a problem. If so, your dad needs to exercise, something many elderly people have zippety do dah squat interest in if they haven't been lifelong exercisers. Try some workarounds, but don't mention the dreaded "exercise" word at all. Go for a walk and tell him you want some company.

    Ask him to help you with simple tasks (speak to his doctor first about physical exertion limits). Restrain yourself from saying "this is good for you" or "you need to exercise" to avoid resistance.

    P.S.-Didn't notice that you said he was blind. But since he was independent, I'm assuming he's mastered different tasks.
    Last edited by JoyUnltd; September 7th, 2009 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Oops...didn't notice he is blind.
    Renée
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  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Not to be insensitive, but what's the life expectency of a 74 year old with those kinds of conditions? Perhaps 5 or 10 years at the most? And how many extra months would a good diet and exercise get?

    I would rather enjoy life to the fullest rather than extend my life by a few months, and it sounds like this is the decision that your father is making as well.
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    You would be surprised at the increased quality of life just a few changes can make. And as his daughter must care for him, it makes her life easier as well. When you have to care for someone full-time, you'll develop an appreciation for maintaining the health & independence of a loved one, even if it's tiny improvements.

    BTW, I am a caregiver among many other things that I do and daily witness the stress that families go through caring for a live-in, elderly parent.
    Renée
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  6. #6
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    I'm grumpy at 47 and I imagine he is set in his ways at 74.

    IMHO, I wouldn't put any extra stress on him if you are living in HIS House.

    I would put more effort into making his life more comfortable, and less on trying to change his ways.

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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    umm have also been in the caregiver position so know how difficult it is. Since everyone's different not sure exactly what to say but guess will try.

    The ole guilt try works a lil bit. lol Just explaining to the person how much you care about them and lettin em know their eating habits are gonna cos problems or at least hinder them gettin healthier works a lil bit.

    My Dad's in his 80's and has a few issues and one makes him have to get blood removed at times. He doesn't like eating breakfast and few times back they wouldn't remove his blood cos his blood pressure was low. He didn't understand why. So...I didn't lecture him or anything but just explained that the reason his blood pressure was low was probably cos he hadn't eaten. Told him how important it was to eat breakfast. Even if he just ate a small bowl of cereal, some fruit or even a yogurt it would be good for him. Said to just try it to see if his blood pressure improved. He did and it did.

    Guess what I'm tryin to say is just explaining (without lecturing) that by not eatin the way he should would mean he'd feel worse (possibly pass out from bein weak from not eating) and the nurse at the hospital would lecture him for not eating. (let her be the bad guy to him lol ) Anyway, it worked. He at least when he's gonna go out anywhere eats breakfast before doin so.

    My Dad is as pigheaded as they come. Definitely agree it's not easy tryin to change somebody's habits and truth is the older ya get, lottsa times eatin is just plain ole boring so people don't wanna bother. Making things they like to eat also helps Good luck)

    Sadly tho, truth is if the person just flat out doesn't have the will or maybe his attitude just sucks, you can't force him or her to eat healthier. They have to have the attitude to want to improve things. If they don't, fact is they can do what they want to do and no amount of talkin by you or anybody else will change that. Hope things improve for ya

  8. #8
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    Start buying good alternatives....oil eh, olive oil better, salt? Mrs. Dash! Butter? Ican't believe?
    He likes to fry food? start broiling it. has the same effect but the food tastes better! Oh my I can go on and on and on..... He is BLIND do it. start replacing his food with better alternatives. Eggs? get em the cholesterol free eggs in a carton! make him
    I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

  9. #9
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    You guys are responding to a spammer. She forgot to mention the colon cancer he has and the brain cancer he has and all the forums she's joined with 1 post all going to caring.com.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    ok, I'm back again. lol Gave a bit more thought to this. I honestly do know how difficult it can be trying to reason with a loved one and a pigheaded one at that. Not easy at all.

    The ole guilt thing really does work to a point if you're living with them. (guess this may all depend on the type of relationship you have with em but am assuming since you're living with em it must be a pretty good one or you wouldn't be living with em and concernd.) The natural instinct of a parent is to think about their child. If they really think their eating a bit better is gonna make you happier then they're gonna do that.

    Goin back to what JoyUnltd and snappy said. Hate to put it this way cos am afraid it may sound not so nice but umm when you're tryin to get an older parent to eat better ya kinda have to do some of the same things you'd do with a child. You have to make whatever it is appealing to them (while sneaking in some of the stuff that's good for em) and if you're making it seem as though everyone in the family is eatin the same thing and enjoying it.....they may, too.

    There are lottsa ways to make food taste better and still be healthy. Check out your hospital to see if they have anything on certain nutritional guidelines for his specific health problems or check out different diabetic organizations online (or even cookbooks I had bought my Mom a cookbook by the heart assoc. I think years ago)

    If you are living with him it is gonna mean more work on your part adapting to cooking healthier meals but as said before, you'll get healthier too. If you're living in the same house as him....umm you're not gonna get him to eat healthier if you're not. So, it's really gonna have to be an adjustment on your part, too maybe.

    I can just say that when I've had older family members living in my house and they were given homemade meals they had appetites that were somehow missing when they were living on their own. Even just the hassle for an older person to have to make a meal, clean it up, etc. Is a lot easier to put somethin in the microwave with no cleanup but not as healthy for em. So, guess the honest advice I can give ya is if a person's living in your house and you're tryin to get em to eat healthier......you have to be the one making the meals for them and all of you eating them. Doubt anybody is gonna have a homemade meal made for them and then tell that person....sorry I'm not gonna eat it. They will and they'll like it. (unless you're a bad cook I guess lol ) That's just one of the reasons bein a care givier isn't the easiest thing in the world. Lotta extra work and patience involved in it.

  11. #11
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    If you do the cooking, and you really want a healthy, and delicious, alternative to mainstream food, and are willing to make a change for yourself as well, and can spend the time necessary to learn a new way of cooking and a new way of eating, then take a look at this book: Veganomigon the Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

    It's not just a cookbook, it's a treatise on an alternative way of looking at food and recipes, and much of it can be used in a diet that still does include meat.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    "You guys are responding to a spammer. She forgot to mention the colon cancer he has and the brain cancer he has and all the forums she's joined with 1 post all going to caring.com."

    rrrggggh I only took the time for this cos I felt bad for her...uh not once but twice. rrrgghhh

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Oh crap, fooled twice today! Thanx, Trust. Hard to believe this is a link drop, but yes, rather obvious.
    Renée
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear
    "You guys are responding to a spammer. She forgot to mention the colon cancer he has and the brain cancer he has and all the forums she's joined with 1 post all going to caring.com."

    rrrggggh I only took the time for this cos I felt bad for her...uh not once but twice. rrrgghhh
    Yeah, it's a pathetic type of spamming, playing on people's emotions with this kind of topic. http://www.google.com/search?q=%22An...ient=firefox-a

    It's all 1 post, all going to caring.com, all kinds of different diseases and problems.

  15. #15
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    OMGoodness 2 times arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh me too. WHAT EVER I didn't SEE YOUR LINK SO YOUR SPAM IS DUMB!!!!!! HAHAHA
    I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

  16. #16
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    If anything this proves there is a niche for this topic and plenty of content could be written on the subject
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  17. #17
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Actually, I did check it out.. it didn't look like spam to me. You know that threads and forums at ABW actually score very well in Google!
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  18. #18
    Member BrettSaver's Avatar
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    Hey, my g/f has brain cancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    You guys are responding to a spammer. She forgot to mention the colon cancer he has and the brain cancer he has and all the forums she's joined with 1 post all going to caring.com.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    You guys are responding to a spammer. She forgot to mention the colon cancer he has and the brain cancer he has and all the forums she's joined with 1 post all going to caring.com.
    Even so, it's generated an interesting conversation that might legitimately help others with similar problems or make others examine their own habits. Not to excuse the spamming, but it's not often spammers do something that useful. LOL.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    If AngelaTanner is really serious about helping her dad out and this is NOT spam (though it does appear to be) then feel free to email me at sarah (at) allinclusivemarketing (dot) com and I'll hook you up with my mom who's a dietician who specializes in geriatric care. She'll know what to do, if you're serious.

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