worried about Mom

By Ruthey01 Latest Reply 2011-09-02 02:55:34 -0500
Started 2011-08-29 20:44:34 -0500

The main reason I joined this community is that I have a LOT of relatives with diabetes, 4 counting my mother and 3 siblings (there are 6 of us). I haven't been diagnosed with diabetes yet but I have been using the diabetic diet/life style plan my mother was given several years ago for 5 years. An ounce of prevention…
Enough intro. My mother, 79 years old, has type 2 diabetes, heart problems (afib), a pace maker (with a defib in it) and is legally blind from macular degeneration. I think she has given up. She will eat good healthy mini meals all day long and then blow it by eating a whole jelly roll - or at least 1/2 of one while watching a 1/2 hour tv show in the evening. If you don't know what a jelly roll is, it is a flat rectangle of white cake, 8"x12"x1/2", with a layer of massively sweet spread on it and then rolled up. I can't even eat a taste of one without feeling wierd and I am not diabetic!! What can we, her children, do to encourage her to not do things like that. We would all like to have her around for a while longer but we know if she keeps up with binges she won't.
Any suggestions will be appreciated, even if it is only encouraging thoughts that I can use and pass on to my siblings.

5 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-08-31 16:16:05 -0500 Report


I had a similar situation with my mom. She was Type II and really needed to watch her diet better. She loved her sweets. I live a few states away and couldn't monitor her eating, not that I would had had that much control over a grown adult anyway.

But I did gently and consistently remind her that I wanted her to be healthy and able to participate as fully in life as possible, and that I needed to have her around. I suggested sugar free alternatives and I gave her lots of praise when she ate healthy.

At some point she moved into assisted living and at that point, her only day to day simple pleasure in life was food. I managed her shopping and I made sure that she had sugar free desserts. That helped. But to be honest I also purchased her favorite soft cookies. I asked the staff to dole them out judiciously with a meal so that she didn't overdo it, and to encourage the sugar free foods as much as possible. It wasn't perfectly ideal but it was the best I could do without having her feel that her life was totallly not her own. My mom was a very stubborn and independent person, so I viewed this situation from the 80/20 rule. I didn't expect perfection but I did at least feel like we were 80% there.

I wish you the best with this. I know it's not easy to see our parents in decline, and to not want to do anything and everything possible.


Ruthey01 2011-09-01 03:48:59 -0500 Report

No, it is not easy to "see our parents in decline". My father passed away at age 54 in 1983 from his aortas rupturing, one 50% and the othr 75% occluded (?). I am now 57 but still view my mother as young. She is almost 80 - in January 2012.

I don't visit her as much as I would like to, partly because it is painful to see her "declining". And I don't like seeing her blow her "diet". I love my mother very much and pray for her daily, but I can't watch her giving up like she is.

Thank you for your reply, practical advice from "being there" and your words of encouragement.

jayabee52 2011-08-29 21:51:54 -0500 Report

Totally made a good suggestion. Another one might be judicious use of "I messages"
such as "I feel scared when you eat that jelly roll because I love you and want you to live a longer time with us" You can google "I messages" to find out more about them. It is supposed to be a non-threatening, non-blaming way to communicate with people you love. It is not magic, but when my wife used it on me, I wanted to stop doing what it was that scared her.

Ruthey01 2011-08-29 21:58:10 -0500 Report

Thank you for the "I messages" suggestion. If all of us give that message to Mom, maybe she will listen.
And my condolences on your bride's passing. I read that post earlier today. The picture you posted says more than words ever could!!

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