Husband refusing to eat dinners

SandraF

Registered User
Jan 23, 2023
10
0
My husband has vascular dementia and alzheimers. He hasn't eaten meat for 40 years but always enjoyed different sorts of fish and liked Quorn/Linda McCartney type vegetarian meals. He has never liked much in the way of vegetables. Lately he us refusing to eat more than a few mouthfuls of the food I've regularly cooked, I've tried Wiltshire Farm foods, ready meals from M&S, etc but most is ending up in the bin. He cannot tell me what he would eat. He eats his lunchtime sandwich, cheese, salmon, cream cheese, paste, etc so I'm wondering if I should just give him a different sandwich at dinnertime. He would happily eat cake and biscuits at any time of day. I would be grateful for any advice.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
362
0
It eventually reaches a point where we can be grateful our folks are eating anything at all. I wouldn’t worry about a hot meal - a sandwich can be nutritious too. If that’s what your husband will eat, in your shoes I’d just offer those instead of a cooked dinner.

Taste is affected by dementia. It reportedly becomes quite dull, and sometimes food which tasted nice before can become bitter or unpleasant. The sweet receptors are the last affected, so developing a sweet tooth seems to be quite common.
 

scotlass

Registered User
Jul 9, 2023
299
0
Hello Sandra, my hsband has Alzheimers too and his appetite has changed, he doesn't eat as much as he used to...if I ask him if he'd like a certain thing, he'll say no but if I make it and give him it he's ok with that...but
usually he only eats half. when I make soup, he'll have some, but no more, would your husband take scrambled egg or omlette, my husband sometimes asks me to leave the dinner till a bit later, so maybe we should make mealtimes a bit later..oh and my O H would eat biscuits and sweets all day too..
 

maggie6445

Registered User
Dec 29, 2023
1,033
0
My oh isn't keen on proper cooked dinners anymore. He doesn't like the texture of meats,too chewy, He prefers crunchy or salty foods . I give him soups , tinned chunky or home made, He likes pizza ,quiche and baked beans with the little sausages in them . I suppose it's food that is easier to chew and swallow. He also eats cake and biscuits in much larger quantities than he used to .
 

SandraF

Registered User
Jan 23, 2023
10
0
Thanks for advice, I will go down the dinner sandwich route for now. It's often as though he doesn't have the energy to pick up a knife and fork or he can't work out what to pick up off the plate to eat and I imagine a sandwich in the hand is a much easier option .
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,371
0
South coast
Thanks for advice, I will go down the dinner sandwich route for now. It's often as though he doesn't have the energy to pick up a knife and fork or he can't work out what to pick up off the plate to eat and I imagine a sandwich in the hand is a much easier option .
Ah, I was wondering whether the problem was the cutlery. Perhaps any sort of food that is cut into bite sized pieces and can be picked up with fingers is the way to go, not necessarily sandwiches. Try things like mini pork pies, cut up sausages, fish fingers or pizza plus halved cherry tomatoes and chips, or small boiled potato. Also try hula hoops, cubes of chicken, cheese or cucumber. I used to give mum a bowl of things like that beside her on the sofa and tell her to dive in. She would usually protest that it was too much but I'd just tell her to eat what she could and after half an hour it would be gone
 

sue31

Registered User
Oct 2, 2023
198
0
Medway
My husband has vascular dementia and alzheimers. He hasn't eaten meat for 40 years but always enjoyed different sorts of fish and liked Quorn/Linda McCartney type vegetarian meals. He has never liked much in the way of vegetables. Lately he us refusing to eat more than a few mouthfuls of the food I've regularly cooked, I've tried Wiltshire Farm foods, ready meals from M&S, etc but most is ending up in the bin. He cannot tell me what he would eat. He eats his lunchtime sandwich, cheese, salmon, cream cheese, paste, etc so I'm wondering if I should just give him a different sandwich at dinnertime. He would happily eat cake and biscuits at any time of day. I would be grateful for any advice.
I worried over this with mum too. She wouldn’t eat a full meal anymore. We literally just gave her a meal a 5 year old would eat on a normal sized plate. She’d eat that, but no matter what it was she’d smoother it in Ketchup 🙄🤷‍♀️
She’d never like ketchup 🤯

She’d never had a sweet tooth in the past but she would go through countless cakes, chocolate biscuits & individual trifles - rapidly!

I got to the point where I was just happy she ate.

Maybe try smaller portions, possibly switch sandwich & main meal times round, or even try some homemade soups to disguise some more nutritional foods like lentils etc, you can buy some small pasta shapes to go in it too to bulk it up.

We tried most things, some worked short term.

.
 

extoyboy

Registered User
Oct 2, 2021
69
0
We're in the same situation - my wife hardly likes anything I cook for her these days and sometimes she'll only eat a spoonful and then say she's full. I now tend to batch cook things for myself then do something for her as and when she can decide what she wants. Lack of fibre in her diet is currently causing fun in the constipation department...

Her tastes seem to change regularly too so something she can't get enough of one week becomes unpalatable the week after. She's currently happy to eat Aldi branded giant wotsits for example but that'll wain and she'll decide she likes something else.

Some months ago when her doctor visited we spoke about this and she just said let her have whatever she wants as better to have something than nothing. It's frustrating but something I'm used to now. The doctor also suggested multi-vitamins so I give her one of the cheap supermarket own-brand ones every day.
 

annieka 56

Registered User
Aug 8, 2022
346
0
My husband has vascular dementia and alzheimers. He hasn't eaten meat for 40 years but always enjoyed different sorts of fish and liked Quorn/Linda McCartney type vegetarian meals. He has never liked much in the way of vegetables. Lately he us refusing to eat more than a few mouthfuls of the food I've regularly cooked, I've tried Wiltshire Farm foods, ready meals from M&S, etc but most is ending up in the bin. He cannot tell me what he would eat. He eats his lunchtime sandwich, cheese, salmon, cream cheese, paste, etc so I'm wondering if I should just give him a different sandwich at dinnertime. He would happily eat cake and biscuits at any time of day. I would be grateful for any advice.
Maybe just go down the route of a lot of things that can be eaten by hand? As it sounds like he enjoys his sandwiches at lunch time? I guess it's more manageable for him.
Samosas, falafel, cherry tomatoes, cubes of cheese, Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages, slices of red and green pepper, pitted olives, I get small microwave omelettes from a range called unearthed from Amazon Fresh. that can be cut into chunks.
The good thing is you can chop stuff up and save it for the next day and there's not so much waste.
I largely gave up on cooked dinners recently as my husband only wanted to use a fork like when we used to cook spaghetti for a cheap meal with the kids but not so good with cottage pie and gravy being twirled all around.
 

scotlass

Registered User
Jul 9, 2023
299
0
I asked O H if he would like some tomato soup ..the aswer was no...so I said ok...and turned away....well ok I'll have some, he said...and ate the lot...I sometimes think he's programed to say no...
 

sue31

Registered User
Oct 2, 2023
198
0
Medway
I asked O H if he would like some tomato soup ..the aswer was no...so I said ok...and turned away....well ok I'll have some, he said...and ate the lot...I sometimes think he's programed to say no...
That’s a norm.

We learnt to just to put the plate down. If asked anything about it was always no/not hungry/already eaten, 95% of the time is was eaten tho🤷‍♀️
 

phill

Registered User
Aug 8, 2007
81
0
With my late dad, I tried to let the cooking smells waft through for as long as possible to wherever in the house he was, so that by the time I served it up he was looking forward to it.
 

MrWobbles

Registered User
May 19, 2023
41
0
Hello It’s interesting to read the similar pathways we all follow. My wife has mixed dementia and food is becoming an issue. Every morning we have a bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt followed by porridge. This always feels a huge relief as we’ve started the day well. Lunch tends to be a bit haphazard but a smoked salmon sandwich and fruit is the most successful.
The main challenge is in the evening. What currently works are lots of small bowls of snacks that we both share. The sharing is very important to us. Typical things include: dates, figs, vegetable crisps, any sort of crisps, squares of cheese on sticks, watercress, tiny biscuits with sardines, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, nut and raisin mixture etc. plus a little bottle of alchohol-free beer. I spread these out on our coffee table and we watch the news at 6. My wife can't follow the news at all but it somehow still works. I’ve just bought some classical music DVDs for us to watch. No idea if this will be success but the lure of snacks might do the trick!
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
5,609
0
Dorset
Hello It’s interesting to read the similar pathways we all follow. My wife has mixed dementia and food is becoming an issue. Every morning we have a bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt followed by porridge. This always feels a huge relief as we’ve started the day well. Lunch tends to be a bit haphazard but a smoked salmon sandwich and fruit is the most successful.
The main challenge is in the evening. What currently works are lots of small bowls of snacks that we both share. The sharing is very important to us. Typical things include: dates, figs, vegetable crisps, any sort of crisps, squares of cheese on sticks, watercress, tiny biscuits with sardines, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, nut and raisin mixture etc. plus a little bottle of alchohol-free beer. I spread these out on our coffee table and we watch the news at 6. My wife can't follow the news at all but it somehow still works. I’ve just bought some classical music DVDs for us to watch. No idea if this will be success but the lure of snacks might do the trick!
Andre Rieu DVDs are good as they have a variety of music in them and are quite a spectacle.
 

Ellie2018

Registered User
Jun 26, 2023
252
0
We are just the same, would eat biscuits and chocolate 24/7 but try getting him to eat a meal. GP view was a few years ago we’d have worried about the sugar but he has an awful disease that can only get worse, let him have what makes him happy. So mainly I do. The cutting things up and leaving them works quite well, cheese, biscuits, grapes, fruit and nuts. As with others, I won’t eat all that, them there is an empty plate. I use a very big dark plate and spread everything around. A red one is best apparently, something to do with the brain, hence the desire for ketchup!
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,040
0
Kent
For what it's worth, my experience a little further down the road is as follows.
As my OH's Alz's has progressed her interest in food lessened. She is much less active than she used to be, and thus, uses less energy, thus, eats less.
She can now no longer properly manage cutlery, her hand shakes a bit, but her perception of where things are, or how near or far they are is not accurate and she may (will) spill things.
The first result was that, as she became somewhat daunted by a plate full of food, I would cut everything up in to bite size pieces and she seemed to find this easier.
Then as things got worse, I started to feed her both her food and her drinks - saves spillages - and she accepts this.
However, it means that for a cooked meal, which I still do, although this is now at lunchtime, we cannot eat together properly. So I cook, then I eat mine in the kitchen and listen to the radio or read, and keep her's warm/hot and then go and feed her (either in bed in the dining room or in her chair in the lounge), The same for any dessert. Now the same for breakfast and for a small meal (sandwich and some salad pieces and a fruit) early evening.
It means all meal times take twice as long as they used to when we ate together at the same time.
 

Sonya1

Registered User
Nov 26, 2022
234
0
Thanks for advice, I will go down the dinner sandwich route for now. It's often as though he doesn't have the energy to pick up a knife and fork or he can't work out what to pick up off the plate to eat and I imagine a sandwich in the hand is a much easier option .
Often, pwd reach a point where a plate full of picky bits, finger foods, are easier to manage because cutlery can become challenging. We used to have success with mini sausage rolls, quarters of hb egg, sandwiches in slices, veg sticks, sliced fruit etc. pitta bread slices with hummus and so on... with my father it would fluctuate and sometimes he would approach a 'hot' meal with enthusiasm!
He definitely seems to prefer easier textures now and sweet/fruity foods over savoury.
If you are concerned about overall nutrition, Ensure drinks are a balanced supplement which can be presented as a milkshake - they use them in my Father's nursing home. x
 

JudyA

New member
Sep 21, 2023
7
0
It is very reassuring to know that the changes in my OHs eating patterns etc are so 'usual'. He has mixed dementia (Alzheimers and vascular) and exhibits many of the behaviours described. Thank you so much, everyone.