1. athina

    athina Registered User

    Nov 4, 2004
    3
    greece
    I feel so weary after yet another day of being accused by my mother of not feeding her I don't know what to do she has 3 meals a day plus snacks and still says she has had nothing to eat. Any suggestions about how to take her mind off food? How come she eats so much and looses weight but I am so stressed my weight is soaring.
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    #2 Jude, Nov 4, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
    Dear Athina,

    A warm welcome to TP from Greece.

    I can really identify with this problem! With AD sufferers it always seems to be all or nothing.

    My parents have been living at home with me now for just over a year. When they were in close care accommodation, they hardly ate anything at all. This was mainly because they were left to their own devices and had lost the skills for preparing snacks, although they did have a main meal at lunchtime. They were severely underweight when they moved in with me.

    They now eat 3 full meals a day as well as morning coffee, afternoon tea and a light supper before bed. I don't know where they put it all...! They have put on around half a stone each now and look much better, but at least they are eating very nourishing food these days. They seem to have a limitless capacity and are always discussing the 'next meal' and at what time it will arrive. I wonder if it stems from boredom or feelings of anxiety, or perhaps both. The weather seems to play a very minor part in this, although I assumed they would eat more during the colder months.

    If your mother is eating well and losing weight, then it might be a good move to consult your local Doctor. There may be something amiss that is preventing her from absorbing nutrients and vitamins.

    Being a carer tends to involve missing meals and grabbing snacks on the run at very odd hours. This can play havoc with weight gain. For some reason, I find that the less I eat the more weight I seem to put on. Very unfair......!

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Kalispera Athina

    one of the things about Alzheimer's is that those who have it often are active all of their waking hours. However much food they eat, they burn it off constantly by walking around, moving things, etc.

    Also, you will find that most sufferers are on the thin side after Alzheimer's has taken hold. Whether that is due to constant exercise or the growing inability of their body to absorb food, I don't know.

    If your mother is eating 3 meals a day but forgets that she has done so, it may be that she is purely working on habit, not hunger. Also, the need to eat is something so basic, we all remember it [there will be exceptions though] even when other memories have been lost.

    Why not just give her something small to nibble - a bar of chocolate perhaps - and say that a meal is on the way.

    It will do no good to tell her she has already eaten, and with her problems, some additional snacks will not cause any problems.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Dear Athina
    Welcome.
    I think the simple answer is that they forget that they have eaten.
    My wife always insists "we haven't had much today" we have.
    She has put a lot of weight on but I understand it can go either up or down with AD
    BEST WISHES
    Norman
     
  5. athina

    athina Registered User

    Nov 4, 2004
    3
    greece
    kalispera and thanks to everyone who kindly sent replies. Mum doesn't seem to burn the calories as she is just sitting in a chair for most of the day but I know if I ate what she did I'd be 20 stone. It's quite sad as Greeks are know for their food and want of feeding people all the time so to have your own mother shouting all day because you didn't feed her is quite sad what I really miss here is not having enough contact with English people to have a chat to and help you to see the funny side of things when things start geting on top of you. There is nothing quite like the British sense of humour. It cheered me up just knowing that there is someone out there, who knows what I am trying to cope with here without any support , and who will take the time to listen to my ravings and still answer me back with a few kind words.
     
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Athina

    Please do continue to post questions, rants, etc to Talking Point.

    There's something about Alzheimer's that can reduce weight considerably [though as Norman says this is not always the case]. It may not be the exercise, it may simply be the effect of the changes to the brain, and the things therefore that the brain normally controls.

    Whereabouts in Greece do you live?
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Athena, I used to keep a box of chocs or sweets on the table by Mum's chair so she could help herself, it gave her great pleasure to offer them round and she used to like to choose them herself when we shopped. Although, on one occasion, having been give a huge, very posh box for Christmas by her grandchildren, I had to remove them for a bit as she had eaten twelve and would have kept going!! I was not prepared to clean up the mess if she had!! Love She. XX
     
  8. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hi Athena

    my Aunt has always had an amazing appetite and when we visit at weekends we have to load up with supplies. She lost quite a bit of weight when she first moved into the home but seems to eat very well (despite her protestations that the food isn't great - at least that's what we think she is saying).

    We now spoil her to bits with Chocolates, Biscuits, Cakes, Sweets, and Fruit. Most of it may not be considered "healthy" but what the heck - if it gives her any pleasure why shouldn't she enjoy the snacks.

    I have even taken her a mini bottle of wine and a small can of Whisky & Ginger (her favourite tipple) but then realised that these would not work too well with her medication so have reverted to bottles of flavoured sparkling water etc.

    At home she would have always had a full larder and fridge and I think she really missed not being able to eat when she wanted to. As others have said habit is one catalyst for constantly demanding food but also its the rotten memory thing playing evil tricks.

    Kriss
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi, a trick I found useful for a tipple was a non sparkling alcohol free wine, sometimes it was a sherry, sometimes a whisky or else just wine. It meant Mum could help herself without any worries about her medications. Again, it kept her and us happy! Love She. XX
     
  10. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hi She

    Alcohol free whisky? Honestly???

    Kriss
     
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    No, it's the alco free wine "posing" as whiskey!! (It's all in the shape of the glass and of course the state of my Mum's mind!) Love She. XX
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, perhaps I should explain, Mum became increasingly agressive and violent when she drank so we had to curb it as best we could. The medication bit was a secondary. At the second to last Crossroads Christmas party we went to, I explained what happened if Mum and booze mixed, unfortunately some bright spark gave her a sherry, she got very agitated, ruined the carols for everyone then started swearing etc., it got so embarrassing we had to come home to stop her spoiling it for all the others. Apart from that, as you rightly say, if it does them no harm, why not? Love She. XX
     
  13. athina

    athina Registered User

    Nov 4, 2004
    3
    greece
    Dear All,

    Sugar treats are out due to type 11 diabetes what a shame as she always had a sweet tooth but we still give treats as what fun is there left without them it seems to be the only time she smiles and with the diet she is on here it seems to be under control, oh and when you give her a full pack of toilet rolls as she doesn't like getting low on them. It's funny really that mum was such a fussy eater and was very finicky with her food now she just shovels anything in and last night I found a mouldy banana skin under the sheet on the bed so we will have to have parties playing hunt the hiden skins for christmas with a prize for the winner.
    I live in Athens but will be back in the north of England in Feb. One sister lives in Rome and the other in England, but unfortunately due to her neurofibromatosis can't really help because she is completely deaf now and trying to lip read the same thing over and again 10 times in as many mins can be very frustrating.
    We usually spit roast a pig for Xmas so perhaps that is one day to look forward to and she may actually be content just helping herself to food as it is open house here and we usually start eating and drinking at about 10am and carry on until everyone has collapsed.
    any way I am feeling much brighter today as this morning I found so many replies froim you all. Sorry if I reply at funny times but there is a 2 hour difference.
    bye for now
     
  14. gemini

    gemini Registered User

    Sep 8, 2003
    69
    Nottingham
    #14 gemini, Nov 5, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
    Hi Athina

    My mum in law is in the early stages of AD. She now lives alone, but she did live with us for 10 months last year, when she was first diagnosed. As a result I am still learning how this awful illness effects sufferers and carers.

    Your post and replies have been a real 'eye opener' to me. I had always mistakenly believed that one of the main worries with an AD sufferer was that they would not eat enough! I therefore could not understand why my mum in law always seemed to have such a 'healthy' apetite.

    When she lived with us she would pile her plate up and I would think that she was being greedy - convinced that she would never be able to eat it all.....but she ALWAYS did. Now that she lives alone she will regularly prepare herself 2 'evening' meals per day - one at midday and one at tea time. She has put on a lot of weight which until now I didn't feel was cause for concern. Thanks to your post, I now realise that I may have to monitor the situation a little more closely.

    Please keep contributing to TP. You will always find someone able to give advice, and practical help, along with support which will let you know that you are not alone.

    Best Regards
    Gemini
     
  15. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    #15 Jude, Nov 5, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
    Dear All,

    Well it still seems from all the posts to be a case of forgetting to eat and growing rail thin or eating double the amount.

    I'd actually go for the double food rations really, since once AD sufferers stop eating then it's very difficult to get them back in to the habit of doing so. I've been in both situations with my parents during the past 3 years and much prefer to see them eating than not. The food helps the brain and helps them think and take walks and enjoy life. And really with both of them at 86, I doubt if there's a lot of harm in this. I tend to give them smaller portions and more often, so they don't get overloaded and this seems to work, although sometimes I feel like I am running a restaurant. They do eat cakes and biscuits, but in moderation - with rather more emphasis on fresh fruit for snacks.

    My parents have never been big drinkers, although they do enjoy sherry and the occasional beer/shandy midweek. These days, it tends to send them to sleep or in my father's case, get a bit stroppy if he's feeling depressed. Still, there is always something to drink if they want to have a tipple, especially at the weekend. It has always been part of their routine to have a sherry at the weekend and helps them to maintain a routine of normal family life in some ways and I hope that we can hang on to their 'routines' for as long as possible.

    Jude
     
  16. gemini

    gemini Registered User

    Sep 8, 2003
    69
    Nottingham
    Thanks Jude

    You're always a fountain of wisdom...

    Trouble I had the other day though has caused me a lot of concern.....!!!!!

    I caught Mum in law thumping herself in the stomach..... I was really stunned and asked her why she was doing this... She replied that she was trying to get rid of the fat and make herself slim??? I tried to explain that a healthy diet and excercise was the only way to get rid of fat...... I've not seen her do it since.... But can't be sure ???

    In my previous post to Athina I neglected to mention that Mum in law has always been very careful about her 'waistline' .

    Any thoughts???

    Love Gemini
     
  17. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Gemini,

    My father has probably been the cause of my mother's eating habit problems for years. He was constantly [and still is] telling her she is overweight and has a 'fat stomach'. My mother weighs 57kg dripping wet. She looks 10 years younger than her age, has very few wrinkles and still is very beautiful. I get a bit cross with him when he starts this rubbish......

    Jude
     
  18. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    Ladyman may prove a bit tasteless in the long run. Shades of 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, here. But we'd have to cast Steviebaby as the Thief, in which case he would get away with it. Don't forget to have a look at this video.

    Jude
     
  19. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Enjoy it Ches, every moment is precoius, do what makes you all happy. Love She. XX
     

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