Mildred is a 75-year-old retired school teacher who lives in on the gulf coast of Florida. About a year ago, Mildred lost her husband of fifty years. Mildred has three children, two of whom live out of state. Her youngest daughter, Charlene, lives about an hour away. Mildred has been retired for nine years.
Despite the demands of her teaching career, Mildred always managed to prepare and serve evening meals for her family. During retirement, she continued this routine of cooking for herself and her late husband Vernon. Now that she is living alone, Mildred continues to live independently preparing her own meals and doing light housekeeping. She has realized, however, that it is difficult to cook for only one person. On the positive side, Mildred is occasionally inspired to cook a creative meal and freeze the leftovers for later use. In recent months, Mildred has become increasingly passive about cooking and has started skipping some meals. She especially tends to forgo dinner. Some days she snacks or eats what is available in her refrigerator. She has also stopped her only form of exercise, walking on a daily basis.
Mildred prefers to live independently but Charlene, her daughter, is concerned about her mother’s change of behavior and knows that her health will decline if her nutrition doesn’t improve.
What advice would you give to Mildred?
What could she do to improve her appetite and motivation to cook?