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Cooking meals

mintymummy

New member
Dec 29, 2021
1
0
Hi everyone,
This is my first post. My Dad has undiagnosed memory difficulties (gp has made a referral to the memory clinic) Five weeks ago my mum had a stroke and is in hospital, previously my mum prepared and cooked all of my dad’s meals. I have been making him meal but as I am returning to work I have tried to teach him how to use the microwave/oven for ready meals. I have created a folder with pictures and words to show him each step of the cooking process and have written a weekly meal planner. Unfortunately he is struggling to put all the information together and instead eats a sandwich. Have I given him too much info? I would appreciate any tips to help him process the information
Thanks
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
30
0
Hi everyone,
This is my first post. My Dad has undiagnosed memory difficulties (gp has made a referral to the memory clinic) Five weeks ago my mum had a stroke and is in hospital, previously my mum prepared and cooked all of my dad’s meals. I have been making him meal but as I am returning to work I have tried to teach him how to use the microwave/oven for ready meals. I have created a folder with pictures and words to show him each step of the cooking process and have written a weekly meal planner. Unfortunately he is struggling to put all the information together and instead eats a sandwich. Have I given him too much info? I would appreciate any tips to help him process the information
Thanks
It sounds like your Dad needs that diagnosis. I was so relieved to get my mother's diagnosis. I spent maybe 10 years thinking she wasn't quite herself and had increasing confusion. It was only when she started double dosing on medication that I was granted that memory clinic consultant appointment. I was told she has a very clear diagnosis of mixed dementia. At this appointment he Alzheimer's she suffered latterly was what actually helped to get the other long term diagnosis of vascular dementia suggested. She also cannot make sense of instructions. I have spent much time writing signs and large print instructions out for her. She doesn't read them but guesses instead, often wrongly. I have very recently instated care each day around tea time for the tablets and for meal preparation help. I wish I had done it earlier. I was over trying to compensate for her short-comings.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,392
0
High Peak
Oh dear. Trying to teach new things to people with dementia is practically impossible. Even people who have used a microwave safely for years start to struggle to operate them. Add into this your meal planner and I'm not surprised he's struggling. He just won't be able to retain the things you've told him.

Could you organise a carer to go in and heat meals up for him?
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
566
0
It's hard for people with dementia to learn new skills. I think that you need to arrange carer visits.
 

Tate1973

New member
Jan 12, 2022
1
0
I agree I've got 2 carers in place since my dad was discharged from hospital. I noticed he wasn't eating properly and getting confused. He ended up with an water infection & low kidney function. Since then he's had a memory test and diagnosised with mixed dementia. I've cared my dad since my mum passed away 6 years ago. But I noticed since the last lock down he had got worst with his memory etc. The carers do help and it takes some pressure off.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
24,000
0
North Manchester
I agree learning new skills and working to a meal planner is too much to ask.

If you think he could manage apart from the meal preparation and cooking you could research 'meals on wheels' .
There are several national companies, also the LA should either run a service themselves or have a firm under contract.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
12,474
0
Merseyside
I agree I've got 2 carers in place since my dad was discharged from hospital. I noticed he wasn't eating properly and getting confused. He ended up with an water infection & low kidney function. Since then he's had a memory test and diagnosised with mixed dementia. I've cared my dad since my mum passed away 6 years ago. But I noticed since the last lock down he had got worst with his memory etc. The carers do help and it takes some pressure off.
Welcome to TP @Tate1973
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
28
0
Oh dear. Trying to teach new things to people with dementia is practically impossible. Even people who have used a microwave safely for years start to struggle to operate them. Add into this your meal planner and I'm not surprised he's struggling. He just won't be able to retain the things you've told him.

Could you organise a carer to go in and heat meals up for him?
Hi Definitely . Dad blew up three microwaves after using them for ages and ages with no problems but looking back now it was simply he could not remember what we had told him to do, even with written down instructions as well, he was using the microwave part as if it was convection oven cooking, so microwaving for for many more mins than was needed and obviously that burnt things and also using plates that you couldn't microwave.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,392
0
High Peak
Hi Definitely . Dad blew up three microwaves after using them for ages and ages with no problems but looking back now it was simply he could not remember what we had told him to do, even with written down instructions as well, he was using the microwave part as if it was convection oven cooking, so microwaving for for many more mins than was needed and obviously that burnt things and also using plates that you couldn't microwave.
Your dad wins 😁

My mum only blew up two microwaves... But she did break two Sky boxes, a TV, her computer, her washing machine and eleventeen phones...
 

hybiscus

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
14
0
It sounds like your Dad needs that diagnosis. I was so relieved to get my mother's diagnosis. I spent maybe 10 years thinking she wasn't quite herself and had increasing confusion. It was only when she started double dosing on medication that I was granted that memory clinic consultant appointment. I was told she has a very clear diagnosis of mixed dementia. At this appointment he Alzheimer's she suffered latterly was what actually helped to get the other long term diagnosis of vascular dementia suggested. She also cannot make sense of instructions. I have spent much time writing signs and large print instructions out for her. She doesn't read them but guesses instead, often wrongly. I have very recently instated care each day around tea time for the tablets and for meal preparation help. I wish I had done it earlier. I was over trying to compensate for her short-comings.
 

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
155
0
I’ve experienced the same issues with my dad. When mum passed away nearly eight years ago I tried to teach him how to use her mobile phone (a very box basic Nokia,) with no success. At the time it didn’t ring any alarm bells even though looking back this was the first tell tale signs of his dementia. Since then it has just got worse and worse and he has really deteriorated over the past few weeks and months. He is forgetting how to use and operate appliances that he has used with no problem before. Each time he insists that they must be broken. They’re not, he just can’t remember how to use them. I looked into a meals on wheels service but they only deliver at lunch time and dad doesn’t want to be tied to having to be in. (Though this was probably another of his stubborn ways of not accepting help from anyone other that family-me.) I was hoping to have a hot meal delivered at about 4pm when I know he will be back from shopping but no luck.
It’s very difficult to deal with and I’m at a loss when he is telling me over the phone (I don’t live near by) which appliances or device is not working. Luckily he has wonderful neighbours which he will eventually ask for help from.
I feel for you, it is very hard and I’m sorry I don’t have any answers. I hope your mum recovers well but it looks like she will need some help when she comes home. I hope your dad will not expect her to pick up where she left off, though he possibly may well do xx
 

hybiscus

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
14
0
Hi muttimuggle you mentioned mixed dementia could you tell me what that means please. my husband was diagnosed with aphasia and mild cognitive impairment. but my doctor says their is no meds to slow down either of these conditions but while reading other posts it seems other types of dementia can take meds such as donepezil, also what is the difference of alzheimers and vascular dementia, and congnitive impairement, I want to do the best for my hubby but they seem reluctant to give him anything. Any advice greatly appreciated
 

hybiscus

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
14
0
Hi everyone,
This is my first post. My Dad has undiagnosed memory difficulties (gp has made a referral to the memory clinic) Five weeks ago my mum had a stroke and is in hospital, previously my mum prepared and cooked all of my dad’s meals. I have been making him meal but as I am returning to work I have tried to teach him how to use the microwave/oven for ready meals. I have created a folder with pictures and words to show him each step of the cooking process and have written a weekly meal planner. Unfortunately he is struggling to put all the information together and instead eats a sandwich. Have I given him too much info? I would appreciate any tips to help him process the information
Thanks
 

Alice nun

Registered User
Jul 9, 2017
35
0
I’d try meals on wheels: or perhaps there’s a mum in the area that collects her children from school and by passes dads house that would be happy to put a meal in mic mon-fri for a little money, ask around I bet he will have food coming out of his ears before you no it. Especially now as people are working from home. a local pub or cafe a couple times a week or a day centra that do meals some do deliver. Good luck x
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,636
0
Hi everyone,
This is my first post. My Dad has undiagnosed memory difficulties (gp has made a referral to the memory clinic) Five weeks ago my mum had a stroke and is in hospital, previously my mum prepared and cooked all of my dad’s meals. I have been making him meal but as I am returning to work I have tried to teach him how to use the microwave/oven for ready meals. I have created a folder with pictures and words to show him each step of the cooking process and have written a weekly meal planner. Unfortunately he is struggling to put all the information together and instead eats a sandwich. Have I given him too much info? I would appreciate any tips to help him process the information
Thanks
I'm afraid you've reached the point where a person with dementia is unable to grasp anything new. You need the physical presence of someone to either prompt instructions or prepare a meal and probably sit with them as well whilst they eat .
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
566
0
There are two aspects to this problem: preparing the meal and actually eating it. A hot meal might be delivered but then put on the side and forgotten about. It's time for carers to be brought in to heat up meals and ensure that they are eaten.
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
30
0
Hi muttimuggle you mentioned mixed dementia could you tell me what that means please. my husband was diagnosed with aphasia and mild cognitive impairment. but my doctor says their is no meds to slow down either of these conditions but while reading other posts it seems other types of dementia can take meds such as donepezil, also what is the difference of alzheimers and vascular dementia, and congnitive impairement, I want to do the best for my hubby but they seem reluctant to give him anything. Any advice greatly appreciated
Hi Hybiscus. Cognitive impairment means, I think I understand correctly- brain has lost some of its functions, (or cogs!) is not performing up to scratch. You get that diagnosis (just) when they haven't got that bad yet - maybe the memory test given gets a lower score than it should but is not too bad yet OR you might get that diagnosis when Vascular Dementia is suspected. This one is far harder to pin down to the diagnosis and it might be what you or others notice and report to the GP which then might get looked into further. Having said all that - all forms of dementia are signs of cognitive impairment.
So in my Mum's case she has a few venous problems, poor circulation, an irregular and slow heart beat and on a few countable occasions she suffered sort of dizzy turns which went on a little while - she described them as a feeling of "tumbling" or " falling sideways into the wall". These resulted in several visits to A&E. Generally nothing conclusive was found but it was then assumed that she had been suffering mini strokes - which cause vascular dementia when those little blood clots kill off areas in the brain. She was put on the drug Edoxobahn which is a newer blood thinner to prevent it continuing to happen. As I understand the symptoms of Vascular Dementia can actually vary from person to person depending upon what area or areas of the brain have been killed. And for my Mum it was subtle at first - but very noticeable to me. I remember correctly that when she was in hospital following one of these funny turns they did a brain scan to look for evidence. Although they reported that they could not see evidence of a recent stroke, I think I remember the doctor saying that there was evidence of brain cell death(?) and I think I remember him saying that this(then) was mostly affecting the frontal lobes. This would fit so perfectly with the subtle personality changes I saw in Mum and which have increased. The frontal lobes deal with emotion and the feeling of empathy. She was becoming unsurprised by things, unable to put herself in others' shoes, a little more tactless and showing a tendency to make inappropriate comments. Well all this and muddliness. Over time her loss of finding the right word also increased as did her understanding of what is being said to her- even when I talked slowly. She lost the ability to evaluate what was said and come to her own sensible conclusions ( hard for me to explain this latter bit). Her ability to read and comprehend deteriorated too.
The Alzheimer's is far more recognisable I would say - It is evident when people can't remember what has been done or said recently so a tendency to keep repeating things because they thought they hadn't already told you/ done it. My Uncle's wife has clearly got Alzheimer's but she, as yet, remains quite eloquent and she reads. You can have a conversation with her as long as you don't mind hearing one or two tales several times only.
There are other types of Dementia too which others on this site will be more familiar with and could potentially explain from their experience. The sad and frustrating thing was the lack of diagnosis all those years for the Vascular Dementia. Those personality changes in a loved one are really hard to deal with. Even when she got the Mixed Dementia diagnosis a couple of months ago Alzheimer's is the only obvious one to spring out clearly. Because of my mothers inappropriate answers to questions asked by the consultant she got this mixed dementia diagnosis which is"most usually Alzheimer's + Vascular in elderly people". My mother is 90.Good luck with your quest to find and do the best for your husband.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,392
0
High Peak
Hi muttimuggle you mentioned mixed dementia could you tell me what that means please. my husband was diagnosed with aphasia and mild cognitive impairment. but my doctor says their is no meds to slow down either of these conditions but while reading other posts it seems other types of dementia can take meds such as donepezil, also what is the difference of alzheimers and vascular dementia, and congnitive impairement, I want to do the best for my hubby but they seem reluctant to give him anything. Any advice greatly appreciated
You can read about the different types of dementia here: