Eating out of date food

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Liz57, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Solihull

    Solihull Registered User

    Oct 2, 2014
    97
    West Midlands
    #21 Solihull, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    Lindy, if the care package does not work out, the kindest conclusion will be a care home but this is not the "end of the world" .
    Sue
     
  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Thanks Solihull :)

    I agree....but it's all in the timing, isn't it? I couldn't bring myself to move mum until or unless there was no alternative. Not that I have anything against care homes, but mum does.....Also she can see my dad's gravestone from her sitting room window where she is now, and before he died, she told him she'd never move......

    I know he wouldn't want her to suffer etc, so this can't be the defining criterion for where she lives....but I have to be very certain, if she moves, that it's the best thing.

    Thanks for your comment, I agree it's not the end of the world.

    All the best :)

    Lindy xx
     
  3. Solihull

    Solihull Registered User

    Oct 2, 2014
    97
    West Midlands
    Sorry Lindy, I understand you are carrying out all her wishes and I am sure you will know when the time is right and you can be happy that you have done everything possible for your lovely mum.
    Sue
    X
     
  4. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,593
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    This is a big concern with me also.
    Mum has AD and Dad has MCI.
    I am surprised neither of them yet have had food poisoning or a bad case of dysentery.

    Mum still comes shopping with me each week, and I monitor what she buys, especially when it comes to best before dates on food.
    However Dad does all the cooking now. He has some wacky ideas and comes up with his own recipes. He has done for many years, but his hygiene and safety standards leave a lot to be desired.
    He will take meat out of the freezer, unwrap it and defrost it on a plate with a peice of paper towel on top. He mainly puts it on the kitchen bench, but one day I found a peice of steak at the top of the pantry with the paper towel blood soaked.:eek:
    Both Mum & Dad will take meat out of the freezer to defrost, change their mind about what they are eating, put it back in the fridge which is there for days or put it back in the freezer :eek: of course each blame each other.

    Food in the fridge is often out of date, mouldy, or has been sitting there for days.
    Both of them put left overs in good china, uncovered, in the fridge despite having new containers with lids that I bought them. Easy opening containers too.

    What worries me more is that Mum had bowel surgery for early stage cancer 2 years ago. We have to manage her bowel habits very carefully, as she gets very anxious if she doesn't go to the toilet for even a day or worries if she goes to the toilet more than once that something is wrong with her.
    Imagine if she got a case of food poisining or diarreah :eek::eek::eek:
     
  5. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    79
    Midlands
    This sounds soooo familiar. We shop forMIL, check food in fridge for dates, clean fridge out (spilt milk, smelly and looks like cheese -yuk!). I threw loads of out of date tins away a few months ago, her friend then asked me why i had thrown ALL her tinned food away as she now has none!
    i cook meals and put in her freezer so all she has to do is microwave them but she needs a phone call to prompt her. We are now considering meals on wheels a few days a week to help, provide a bit more variety and they also check they're ok and we receive a call if not. Tomorrow's challenge is to sell it to her.. hoping the complimentary free meal helps! :rolleyes: the only saving grace with having to cook is she doesn't remember what she ate the previous day so one big batch of beef stew can last quite a few days.. and the next day!! :D
     
  6. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    No worries, Solihull, I'm sorry if I gave the impression you had upset me in any way. You certainly hadn't ! We're all in this together :)

    Good luck :)

    Lindy xx
     
  7. Ash148

    Ash148 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2014
    274
    Dublin, Ireland
    We had years of this before mum was diagnosed: regular bouts of food poisoning, arguments with both parents when I or my siblings cleaned out the fridge during visits. You would swear we were living through famine times, during which no scrap of leftovers could be thrown out.

    Lindy, best wishes for your efforts to keep your mum at home. Totally understand your motivation and empathise with your goal. Am a strong advocate of regular Movicol or the equivalent to see off constipation which is always a harbinger of doom, no exaggeration, for my poor mum.
     
  8. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,366
    Lancashire
    OH shops at weekend & I shop midweek for MIL. All we buy is ready meals (which she is becoming a little confused at how to cook-no microwave) bread/milk & cooked meat & the obligatory sweet stuff!.
    I go daily & always check her fridge. I usually need to re-arrange meals in order of used by dates. If any meals need binning they go outside as she has retrieved meals from the kitchen bin before today & put back in her fridge. I got rid of all tinned stuff other than soups years ago.
    Most of this stuff is done covertly. She has carers in the morning & if they catch her before breakfast they make her porridge & toast, they are usually there at teatime to either put a meal in or take one out. It slightly annoys me when the notes in the book say "I asked her if she wants porridge & she said no" This is a lady who will eat anything if you put it in front of her & on the front of the file there is a note asking them not to ask just to make. Probably 4 out of 7 days she gets porridge & I couldn't go everyday to make breakfast so I shouldn't grumble.
     
  9. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,693
    Along with the concerns over cold callers, and taking meds accurately, this was one of the big area's of concern for us, before Mil moved in with us, and I honestly don't know the answer.

    We had carers once a day, and either OH or I, or both of us visited up to 5 times a week, and still it was really hard to deal with. Mil would absolutely not let the carers do anything - not even make a cup of tea, and they had no chance at keeping a check on out of date food. She would even object to us checking the fridge/cupboards, so we would have to use the excuse of having taken her shopping, putting the food bought away in order to sneakily try and weed out stuff that had gone off. We would often find things stored in the 'wrong' place - bacon in a cupboard and frozen fish in the fridge, not the freezer. Cooked meats were often passed their date, but she would object to them being thrown away. When we cleared th kitchen, after she moved out, we found tinned stuff with expiry dates from 3 and 4 years before.

    The worst - ever - was one week when we hadn't been able to get down for 3 or 4 days, and walked into the house to be greeted with an absolutely eye-wateringly foul smell. Sitting on a plate on the top shelf of one of her cupboards, were 2 mackerel - not sure if they had been cooked or not, they had passed the stage where you could actually tell, and even though years of caring have left me with a really high tolerence for bad odours, that even reduced me to gagging! Mil seemed oblivious to the stench and objected to us chucking the fish, saying she had been wondering where she had put it and now it was found, she could have it for her tea later :eek:

    She had frequent stomach upsets, but despite us really trying to keep on top of the situation, it proved to be impossible whilst she still lived alone :(
     
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    It's all so frustrating, isn't it? Ann, my mum sounds like your Mil in terms of refusing all help. Even when she had a chest infection recently, she wouldn't let the Carers make her a cup of tea, or a sandwich or her bed.....so as in your case, they really can't check the fridge.

    It so sad...a couple of weeks ago, for example I found an in-date tin of pineapple in the the pantry, which mum had tried to open but been defeated by the ring pull. She has very little strength in her hands. Anyway she'd broken the seal, so rotten pineapple was gradually crawling out of the tin....yuk! And before Xmas we had a fish incident very like yours...as you say, I've never smelled anything worse.

    I have become the Food Police and I hate it!!!! :(
     
  11. henfenywfach

    henfenywfach Registered User

    May 23, 2013
    332
    rct
    Hi liz 57

    The out of date food topic is one that i think a lot of us deal with..my dad has dlb and eventhough still cooking the prob we have is that my mum has bad spine cant bend or stand too long...my dad cant comprehend dates or the need for checking food...my mum cant physically do it..and with depression cant do anything..

    My dad will argue that food is everlasting..and on one occasion had cooked part of something left in fridge...that was lets say .still growing...my mother was ill at some point but couldnt confirm it was that.

    I still have to check the fridge every week..still i have things to chuck out...ive asked them to get a tall fridge on top..so my mum can check it..but that would mean moving a small cupboard filled full but not used....that would alter her kitchen..she cant have that...its not new or her pride and joy..but will she accept change??...no not even to benefit them both!

    I suppose if their ill within the time scale they expect things like food poisoning to happen or sickness and diarrhoea then wouldnt hurt to get checked out..if it also hi lights food issues the gp might help!!!

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Talking Point mobile app
     
  12. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,263
    The fridge was a major battleground when my mum was still living at home. She wouldn't accept any help (nothing wrong with her, why would she need help) and was extremely paranoid so any attempt to remove rotting food was seen by her as theft.

    I did what I could, and grabbed stuff when she was in the loo, or even faced full on abuse if there was no other way but to get on and just do it. It was a horrendous time.

    She didn't get massively ill from anything, but her eating habits did become erratic and it was clear she wasn't looking after herself and would say the first thing that came into her head if asked if she'd had lunch or whatever.

    She's so much better now :) and really enjoying the food in the care home. In the two years she's been there she's gone up two sizes, which is fine. She's not fat but nicely rounded and the pleasure she gets from food again is great to see.
     
  13. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    That's brilliant Delphie....I do hope mum will enjoy food again one day as well xx
     
  14. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,693
    It was a horrible time - both in terms of dealing with rotting food, and in being forever worried that she would get ill :( Like Delphie, there were a couple of occasions where it meant a full blown row, when we would insist that stuff be thrown, and she would be livid at us 'interfering'. I really feel for all of you facing this battle now - as I said, I never came up with a solution as long as she lived alone :(
     
  15. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,291
    SW London
    Lord knows what I'll be like if I ever get dementia, God forbid. When we were clearing the flat of OH's old aunt after she died, we found a lot of way out-of-date tins. But since they looked fine, no rust or sinister bulges, we took them home and used them - no problem. I absolutely HATE wasting food and do get cross if I see anyone else wasting it, so I dare say I'll be the despair-making old mum rescuing rotten mackerel from the bin, too. :eek:
     
  16. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,775
    Female
    London
    I get where you are coming from. Perishables like meat, fish, eggs, milk... Of course. Unopened food in tins and sachets... I tend to ignore the use by date as well and haven't had any ill effects yet. And whatever anyone says, chocolate has no use by date! If it's very old, it might taste stale, but frankly, it doesn't last that long in my household anyway.
     
  17. Slippers

    Slippers Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    6
    Ready Meals

    To avoid the mouldy food saga I had frozen ready meals delivered for my mother once a week. She looked at the brochure, we chatted about them, I ordered online and they magically arrived once a week. I stored a loaf of bread as 4 slices in a bag in the feezer. I'd telephone and ask what she wanted for lunch. She'd get a meal out and pop it in the oven and set the timer. I'd telephone again to check she was eating and had her asprin on her tray. It was not cheap, but it saved a fortune in rotten vegetables. Washing up was only cutlery and there was enough to last between visits. I knew the meals that were delivered so I knew what the choice available was. She did tend to finish the dish so there was not a problem with leftovers. She had little appetite so I had to telephone to remind her to put a meal in the oven every day. In the evening I would get her to put a small meal in the oven. No preparation so she didn't forget what she had to do. The timer really reminded her of food ready to eat.

    Meals on Wheels did not work as the arrival time varied by two hours. And she didn't hear the door so I often paid for nothing.

    The mlkman would deliver basics I ordered up to 9pm the night before. So the evening telephone call was getting her to tell me how much milk was in the bottle. As I paid online, the milkman didn't need to wait and he rang the doorbell hard so she was happy at the free food left in the porch.

    When I sat and ate with her she was very resentful as though I was stealing her food.

    If I just sat and watched her I noticed she raised the food to her mouth and put it down four times before tipping it off her fork. I got on with housework and after an hour I collected her tray and tipped all the food down the toilet before washing up. That stopped the pretend eating. I'd cook and serve her food. Load the washing machine, keep popping in to monitor the plate and if it wasn't going down I'd remind her of the time it was going down the toilet. I never had to throw the lot twice.
     
  18. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    79
    Midlands
    Went to MIL this morning, opened oven door to cook fish n chips... to see some rather crispy looking sausages (cold) but she had no idea how long they had been there, she wanted to eat them tho. OH hid them in bin as stuff reappears from the bin, as if by magic. They did look nice but gawd knows how long they were there. Most food gets microwaved these days. :D:D.inc sausages which added to our surprise when we saw these. I hate food going to waste but really don't want her to be ill.
    on a +ve note, we've finaly got her to agree to have meals on wheels a few days a week... tempted by the complimentary free meal then the free dessert with each main me thinks :rolleyes: 2 days will increase if all goes well. This will then help the out of date food situation :) and she'll have nice hot lunch
     
  19. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    7,005
    Suffolk
    There are times when I am glad OH can't even manage to make coffee let alone try and turn the oven on!
     
  20. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,263
    I hope so too. :) Back then, I really couldn't imagine my mum getting better and she hasn't, of course, but the quality of her her life has definitely improved and that's a massive plus.
     

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