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Any ideas on how to make mum eat more?

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,969
South coast
Everything is sadly narrowed down to fruit salad (nice but too healthy) a thimball of wine, but now lots of chocolate and tonic water, and grapes.
None of these things need cooking, or even reheating. I suspect that she can no longer remember how to use the microwave or oven, but just wants to take something out of the cupboard and eat it. The story about her not wanting fish pie etc because she "didnt buy it herself" sounds to me like a typical dementia "reason" to cover up the fact that she doesnt know what to do with it. If she goes out for a meal, she doesnt have to worry about cooking, so she will eat.
Try buying things that are already cooked - mini pork pies, yoghurt, cake, biscuits, cherry tomatoes, mini quiche
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,623
Nottinghamshire
I had to do the same as @canary suggests for my dad. I’d buy him sandwiches, sausage rolls, quiche and cherry tomatoes or similar for his lunch. As he lived close to me I’d fetch him to mine for an evening meal which he always enjoyed and eventually, as he got less mobile, I arranged for carers to cook him a ready meal at lunchtime and leave sandwiches and fruit salad for his tea.

I also left a flask of coffee and a bottle of diluted squash for him or he’d forget to drink.
 

Fiona F

Registered User
Apr 12, 2020
33
56
Southampton
My mum is 90 with Alzheimer's. She has the appetite of a mouse but a very sweet tooth! - getting her to eat anything decent has been increasingly difficult over the past couple of years. She's naturally small & slim, but her weight is now down to 6 stone (stable for past 3 years) & she's very bony. She can't cook for herself, struggles with the toaster & microwave, & now can't even successfully make a cup of tea. The carers make her hot drinks & toast & jam or honey, or cereal.

She lives on cakes & biscuits, sweets, mini-trifles, choc-chip brioche buns, jam sponge puddings & custard - but if I'm lucky I occasionally tempt her with a tiny toasted cheese sandwich, or 2 fish fingers or 2 chiploatas in a sandwich (just one slice of bread) & even then she struggles to eat it all. I used to cook 'proper' meals & take them round every evening but she's gone off nearly everything she used to like, now only really wants sweet things. She does have 2 Aymes Complete Nutritional drinks every day, prescribed by her GP. So even on days she doesn't want to eat anything at least she has the drinks - good job she loves them!

She was seeing a dietician at hospital - now discharged - they are happy for her to eat as much of what she fancies as she can, but advised adding extra calories & fat wherever possible - switch to whole milk, mix in powdered skimmed milk to anything like likes soups, sauces, custard, milky drinks etc. & full-fat everything - biscuits with creamy filling, cream in coffee etc. But at 90 years old at least she's eating something - 'grazing' is a more appropriate word for it.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,307
Just a quick update on this . Unfortunately I live a long way from my mother so it's down to my family members who live nearby to help (but i do what i can from a distance). One family member adds stuff to his weekly shop so that mum has variety but she just won't eat anything that she doesn't like. Everything is sadly narrowed down to fruit salad (nice but too healthy) a thimball of wine, but now lots of chocolate and tonic water, and grapes. Even when it is something nice like lasagne or fish pie she turns her nose up at it because she hasnt bought it herself. Any other suggestions (because when she does go out she eats 3 course meals)?
I think your mother has lost the capacity to cook for herself or even reheat food . All these food items she now eats don't require the forethought to turn on an oven or use a microwave. So she will only go for those things she can still manage to open . She is covering up her shortfalls in the best way she knows. My mother in law was like this. I used to get in her shopping , which quickly became a list of snacks , nothing she had to think about preparing. Her excuse was that she was no longer hungry, but the reality was at our house , she would eat a full meal and cake afterwards. When at home, on her own , it was back to "I've got no appetite". I organised carers for her (she was self funding) to come in and prepare all her food. The carers made her porridge in the morning and then heated a meal in the microwave at lunch and made her a sandwich to eat later in the day. The carers were told to sit with her at lunchtime and chat to her making it a social event , otherwise, she wouldn't eat it. I think you need the physical presence of someone with her at mealtimes. I tried meals on wheels, but she would just leave it to one side .
 

PaulEd

Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
36
Worcestershire
thank you. I think she is getting that way. She does prepare a few things from scratch - although does buy fresh potatoes- She never eats greens. Our family buys things that are easy to reheat and filling because she enjoys a good pie when she is out. I argue that some comfort food is good. But she won't eat it.
 

PaulEd

Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
36
Worcestershire
........

She was seeing a dietician at hospital - now discharged - they are happy for her to eat as much of what she fancies as she can, but advised adding extra calories & fat wherever possible - switch to whole milk, mix in powdered skimmed milk to anything like likes soups, sauces, custard, milky drinks etc. & full-fat everything - biscuits with creamy filling, cream in coffee etc. But at 90 years old at least she's eating something - 'grazing' is a more appropriate word for it.
This is my mum. Always kept herself at a good weight but she was last time I weighed her about half a stone lower than before. I brought this up in front of the doctor earlier in the year but she didn't weigh my mum. I also think the confinement is making her worse She is missing her friends. Thanks for the reply