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Non-refridgerated Food for Senior

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I am trying to find a way to make sure my 80 year old Mother gets a decent lunch. I need to know what can be set up in advance (plate of food) that can sit on her table for her to eat for as long as 2-3 days. No cooking, no microwave, no hard to chew items. She is diabetic (still needs some sugar) and can not chew well.
I know that honey/peanut butter is fine & tons of condiments, but would like to get lunches ready ahead of time & leave them for her to eat when she gets hungry.

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  1. May I ask why they would have to sit on the table, rather than being in the refrigerator? If they can be kept cold, your options are huge.

    1. If she cannot feed herself, open containers, heat items from the refrigerator, make a sandwich or boil water, she should not be living alone.

      Diabetics need to have food at regular intervals. Meals on Wheels provides that service for many elderly.

      Please consult a nutritionist or her physician or some professional. This public board is not a place you should be consulting for proper nutrition.

      1. Why does the food have to sit out for 2 or 3 days?

        Couldn't you make several sandwiched for her in advance, wrap them, and put them in the refrigerator or in a cooler for her? You could set her up with fruit, individually wrapped snacks (like they sell for kid's lunches), drinks, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pudding, that kind of stuff. She wouldn't need to cook or heat a sandwich. Or even fried chicken and potato salad, There's nothing wrong with cold chicken.

        If that's too hard to chew, what about an assortment of salads, like egg, tuna, chicken, or shrimp, and some soft rolls?

        1. Do you have a Meals on Wheels in your city? They deliver a hot meal at noontime and usually a sack lunch that they will put into the frig. It may not be the tastiest food in the world, but it is hot and made that morning, and will be delivered by someone who cares about their clients.

          1. Actually, I have another question.

            If the lunch needs to sit out for 2 or 3 days, who is making breakfast and dinner?

            1. I guess I should have added more info. She has Alzheimer's & is in an Assisted Living Facility which provides Lunch & Dinner. When she doesn't "like" what is there for Lunch or doesn't want to go for lunch (she gets lost/forgets to go) then she doesn't eat anything. While there are staff who check & remind, some people get lost in the shuffle. Yesterday she had such low blood sugar, it became scary. She doesn't want her family 'hovering' so I thought that if food was just there, there might be less of the low blood sugar, which adds to the dementia symptoms.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cheryl Thunder Bay

                Cheryl, Both of my parents had dementia and lived in a facility. If this place allows her to "get lost" and "forget to go" to lunch, something is mightly wrong there. When someone has Alzheimer's, there is no such thing as not "hovering" and your mother does not have the mental capacity to make decisions for herself. You say there is her family...does that mean a number of people who are related to her and live nearby? If so, maybe you need to set up a rotation of lunch days so there is someone assigned to have lunch with her each day. In general, the residents who have family members there checking in and checking on their loved one are the residents who get the best care.....be the squeaky wheel for your Mom. It's not easy, but worth in in the end. My best to you and your mom.

              2. My mother also has Alzheimer's and is in an ALF. If your mom is at an early stage of Alzheimer's, you could try calling her on your lunch hour to remind her to go down to the dining hall for her meals. If a phone call reminder doesn't work, then she probably needs more care than she's getting.

                I wouldn't worry too much about putting plated meals out. I'd focus on shelf stable snacks that will hold her over until her next meal. Food you can leave out for her won't necessarily be great foods for diabetics, but could include:

                Ensure shakes
                Fruit cups
                Pudding cups
                Crackers
                Tuna in a package
                Bananas
                Apples
                Granola bars
                Packages of peanuts

                1. Folks, we know everyone meant well, but we had to remove some off topic posts about dealing with an assisted living facility. We have a very narrow mission on Chowhound, and that's just too far afield for us.

                  Please keep replies focused on helping the original poster find shelf stable foods for her mother.

                  1. Finding shelf stable foods for your mother could be very difficult. You might want to talk with the Alzheimer's Association at this internet address:http://www.sanalz.org/site/PageServer... as well as the staff and your mother's assisted living facility to find out what might be the best choices for your mother. Take care of yourself.

                    1. hard boiled eggs
                      cans of tuna, crab or chicken - which can be mixed with mayo
                      they also have salmon & other pieces of fish in packages
                      apples
                      grapes
                      cereal like wheat puffs or cheerios
                      they have individual servings of hummus & pretzel chips
                      ensure shakes or other protein shakes
                      dried fruit
                      oatmeal if she can mange with the water

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Maggie Larkin

                        Thanks, that's what I was looking for.