1. Valerie

    Valerie Registered User

    Aug 13, 2005
    1
    Devon
    Hi, First time on here for me. I have a partner that has been diagnosed with VaD a few years ago and AD this year. Although I have looked after people during my working life with AD I do not remember them having any problem with not wanting food. My guy does not want to eat he just seems to feel the need for sweets all the time. This can ofcourse fill him up but what can I do I try to make things he likes but as he also has IBS this can cause problems. I am at my wits end trying to help him regain his appetite can someone help please.
     
  2. bernie

    bernie Registered User

    Jul 28, 2005
    52
    south london
    #2 bernie, Aug 13, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2005
    I think this is normal. my mum has the same thing apparently the sense of taste gets less so there is less enjoyment from food.

    have read also that some people put on weight because they can't remember if they have eaten or not so are continually eating.

    at mums day centre they give her a drink instead of her lunch. whn she won't eat
     
  3. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Valerie
    welcome to Talking Point.
    I think this not eating is a common problem with AD.
    A while back my wife stopped eating,but would eat sweets,biscuits and chocolate.
    Our GP examined her and said he could give her a tonic but not too worry,she would eat when she was ready!!
    She did,and is now back to normal.I
    However if the problem with your partner continues there are supplement foods,they are on prescription so you would need to speak to your GP anyway.Hope this helps,post when you feel the need
    Best wishes
    Norman
     
  4. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    176
    Essex
    I've found with ma in law that she'll eat biscuits, sweets etc because it's easy for her to help herself to those. Beacuse she lives with us, she gets proper meals at the right times, and has a good appetite.

    We've had to modify the way we do things, because she can't remember what she's eaten, I don't leave sweets or biscuits on show anymore. I have a small biscuit tin that I put on the side with half a dozen biscuits a day, same for sweets, crisps etc. For the rest of the family, it's all hidden in cupboards, where for the moment she doesn't seem to look.

    It's the secrecy that I don't understand, as she'll only ever eat what I give her, until I go out anywhere, then she raids the kitchen!! It's not as if I've ever stopped her from having things, but she doesn't seem to want to ask. It is a bit galling when you pop out for ten minutes to get lunch, and come back to find everything gone!! I have to be careful not to leave too much out, or all the sweets and biscuits go and she is too full to eat dinner.

    One thing that worries is the amount of salt she uses, considering she is on blood pressure medication. I did mention this to the consultant, but he bears out a previous post in that as you get older your taste changes, and you need more salt to make the flavour. She should have shares in Saxo, you can tip the salt off the plate after she finishes her meal!!!!!
     
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Splat88

    but it is not diet we are talking about in this instance.

    Secrecy? Ma in law is an adult. She doesn't expect to be given things. She wants her freedom to do what SHE wants to do, when she wants to do it, and when she is alone. She wants self respect. She gains that by doing her own thing when you go out.

    You are doing just the right thing. Agh it is all so convoluted though, isn't it?
     
  6. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    176
    Essex
    Hi Brucie


    That's half the problem though, because she believes she is only staying with us and not living here, (it's been 2 years, but she only remembers 2 weeks) she doesn't feel she can just help herself, when she has as much right to do that as any of us. I'm not even sure she could attempt to cook for herself now. It's trying to make her feel at ease that's the problem. When she was living on her own, she lost so much weight because she wouldn't bother to eat properly.
     
  7. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Splat
    we have lived in this house for 39 years and my wife still wants to go home.
    This is new, recently,asking permision to go into a room,asking may she have a cake or biscuit.
    Asking may she use the toilet.
    She says ahe will not interfere with other peoples things!!
    Life gets tedious doesn't it?
    Norman :confused:
     
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Splat88

    Yes the problem is that in the world of dementia, there is no logic. There are worlds within worlds within worlds.

    This makes it difficult for all parties of course.

    The horrible thing is that we can't make them feel at ease, when that is the very thing we most want to do. We can't explain things that make sense to us, because they will/may not make sense to them. If we try and put things in terms we believe may make sense to them, it may be even worse, because our assumption of what they think may be way out.

    As per Norman - Day by Day.

    Doing the best you can.

    That is all you can do!
     
  9. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Other people's things

    Norman,
    Isn't it odd how alienated they feel from their own surroundings?! Your wife says she won't interfere with other people's things - my husband looks at things in the house and says 'I wish I could buy that', or worse still, he tries to steal items, putting them in his pockets or under his jumper, and asking me to keep my voice down so that 'they don't hear' ...... the very worst thing then is to say "but we are in our own house, all these things are yours/ours". I have learnt that that just causes a violent reaction, but I wasn't prepared for it to be equally tricky when we were at a family party last weekend where my husband thought he was at home and I tried in vain to tell him it was someone else's house. He was very angry with me! :eek:
     
  10. LindseyN

    LindseyN Registered User

    Aug 18, 2005
    10
    Hi Valerie,

    My Grandad has vascular dementia and he is not eating anything - except for sweets. He will eat rice pudding for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will hastily follow that with liquorice allsorts, toblerone, chocolate eclairs and jelly babies.
    There is no other explaination we can think of for this than purely his loss of interest in eating. When he had a good day he told me there is no pleasure in anything anymore.
     
  11. sequoia

    sequoia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    19
    London
    Humour and respect when things are difficult

    My mum had Vascular dementia and my aunt both Vascular d and AD. Although there is a lot of sadness, distress and fear there is also humour. When I went to see my aunt the other day, instead of putting on a top with a vest, she had put two vests on. When I asked her why, she said because they were pretty! She also goes for the cakes and chocolate, but if you put a meal in front of her She'll eat it happily even after saying "Oh, I'm too full and couldn't eat another thing"! My mum, when in hospital for the last time had a catastrophic drop in blood pressure (Medical big error). Very sadly, as a result she incurred (more) brain damage. When we went in to see her after she had recovered as much as was possible I was wearing my winter hat and she exclaimed furiously to other patients and also to nursing staff that "she's (me)wearing my hat. She's taken my hat!" Mum was very annoyed. But (and not laughing at her at all) this was also amusing in the nicest possible way. I explained to her it was my hat but she could have it if she liked, which made her calm down.

    I feel that in between all the pain and sorrow, sometimes humour ( again not laughing at the person) can help. It's very difficult and painful but laughter helps. My mum and I had lots of laughs and so do my aunt and I. I also second the idea of continuing to respect too.
     
  12. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Dad is going through a not eating stage at the moment. Each time it happens I worry that his appetite won't return again. I gave him some banana milkshake today which he seemed to enjoy. He's often quite grumpy now whereas, when he was well, he always used to be jolly and laughing.

    Laughter helps keep my Mum and I sane when we visit Dad. It's the little things that he does/says that fascinate us - they're so surreal, sometimes it is hard to keep a straight face. I know it's Dad's reality but Mum and I have to chuckle at the absurdity (but not in a nasty way, as you say, sequoia) and if we didn't laugh we'd probably cry. The added bonus is that when we're laughing, Dad often catches our mood and has a small chuckle too - priceless! :)
     
  13. noodle31

    noodle31 Registered User

    May 1, 2005
    81
    kent
    Hi there

    We have discovered in recent days that dad is having difficulty remembering HOW to eat.

    When i visited one evening in the week, he kept trying to eat the tissues, so i offered him fruitcake my mum had bought in. He didnt know what to do with it, i ended up feeding him....he thought this was funny bless him.

    The nurses have said on a good day he will sit and feed himself but the majority of the time now, a nurse sits with him and helps him

    sad very sad

    love Jane xx
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Jane, yes it is sad. It is good to know the nurses are taking the time to feed him on the bad days though, some do, some don't. Take him in easy to eat treats like mini rice puds, yoghurt, mouse, strawberrys and cream, mashed as you feed them, etc to tickle his taste buds. Thats all you can do really. I fed Mum every day in the end while she was in hospital, went up at mealtimes and fed her these sort of treats in between. It is very hard for you I know, it hurts to see them like this. Oh how I hate this darn disease. Love and hugs, She. XX :(
     
  15. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    "We have discovered in recent days that dad is having difficulty remembering HOW to eat"

    I think this may be my Dad's problem too. Like everything else, it doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes he'll instinctively put a piece of apple in his mouth and chew, whereas at other times he looks lost as a plate of toast is put in front of him. When Mum reassures him that it's his, and he can eat it, he doesn't seem to understand the word 'eat'. (Mum imitates putting food in her mouth). Then there are other times when he'll put food in his mouth and swill it around for a while because it seems he's also forgotten how to swallow (a nightmare when he's given his medication in yoghurt). I see people in Dad's home at the stage of being fed and I start to think maybe he's nearly there....

    "Oh how I hate this darn disease"

    You can say that again She. x
     
  16. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    When the fog discends ....

    My husband is at home, and copes reasonably well. However, I have noticed recently that whilst he now only uses a spoon to eat, sometimes he doesn't even known what to do with that ...... or with finger food. He has dunked biscuits in orange juice, scooped wine out of his glass with a soup spoon, poured his drink over his food - there is no telling what might come next, but then again he may well be ok for several days.
    It's that wretched fog ................. :eek:
     
  17. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    The 'dreaded fog'. One way of putting it. Yet another aspect to deal with. The uncertainty, the different situation wich occur from day to day.

    Last Sunday Lionel SURPRISED us all by walking nearly a mile down to the beach hut unaided (won't go into details now).....................Today he cannot walk across the room, has been unable to shower, or dress (even with assistance)..I have been stuck at home waiting for a plumber, he has blocked his toilet, yet again.....

    It can only be the dreaded fog.............."the sun will cme out tomorrow".....love Connie
     
  18. Fran

    Fran Registered User

    Jul 8, 2005
    7
    Hampshire
    Hi, first time I've posted so bear with me - hope I've done it right!

    My mother has Alzheimers and recently has had to go into hospital for a week. She is now back home but has deteriorated quite drastically and is even more confused now and doesn't know where she is, despite having lived in the same house for the past 25 years. Her weight has plummeted to less than 7 stone and trying to encourage her to eat is proving such a headache. I have tried the fortified drinks, soups etc. etc. that are available on prescription, had a meeting with a dietician and am well aware of what she should be given, but if someone doesn't want to eat............................ what do you do!? Someone mentioned earlier that the sense of taste diminishes with Alzheimers and so there is no enjoyment in eating and so I guess this is the battle - however, trying to explain that you need to eat to live, is the message I'm just not managing to get across.

    Anyway, thats my current worry shared with you all - any thoughts/comments/advice gratefully received. It is reassuring to know I'm not alone.

    Best wishes,
    Fran
     
  19. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hi Fran - you posted great! Welcome to TP.

    "I have tried the fortified drinks, soups etc etc. that are available on prescription, had a meeting with a dietician and am well aware of what she should be given, but if someone doesn't want to eat............................ what do you do!?"

    Just keep doing what you're doing! As Sheila says "Thats all you can do really" You don't say how long your Mum has been home from hospital, perhaps she needs time to settle again.

    After my last post I now feel a bit of a fraud. I went to see Dad today and his appetite has returned! He's been put on antibiotics for an infection - perhaps that had something to do with it? He also took his medication as good as gold. He was singing and smiling again today and back to remarking, for the umpteenth time, how tall the tree is in the garden of his Home - a sunny day indeed. It just shows how things can turn around fairly suddenly, I hope your Mum's appetite picks up soon,

    Best wishes,
     
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Fran and welcome to TP. You could try a few of the stronger flavoured baby foods, when she was really poorly and frail, my Mum enjoyed these sometimes, especially cauliflower cheese with a bit of extra grated cheese added. She hated the breakfasts though. Some of the meals are really quite tasy if you jazz them up just a bit. You wrack your brain I know, for absolutely anything at all to tempt them with thats easy to swallow and digest when they are so frail. Thinking of you, keep posting. Love She. XX
     

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