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Eating cakes etc instead of proper meals

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Richierich, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Richierich

    Richierich Registered User

    Mar 6, 2013

    My mum has started eating lots of cakes, crisps and generally sweet things instead of proper meals... Is this somehow related to her dementia or her tablets?

    Has anyone else experienced this?


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  2. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    It does seem to be very common, as you will read over time.

    My mum would only eat a proper meal - and then a surprisingly large amount! - when she was in company. She picked at her delivered hot meals, but would graze all day on little cheeses, fruit, cakes, raisins, white chocolate and so on.

    I stopped worrying too much about nutrition, encouraged her to eat well when she was with others, and just accepted that the much needed calories had to come from somewhere....
  3. Patricia Alice

    Patricia Alice Registered User

    Mar 2, 2015
    Yes most definitely, my mum hardly eats her food but puts away cakes, biscuits and chocolate no problem. The CPN says that people with dementia are prone to eating sweet things more so and that any calories are better than no calories for her.
  4. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    My mother in law (84 with Alzheimer's) is single handedly keeping Mr Kipling and his ilk afloat I should imagine. :D

    I try to get one proper meal with veg and a piece of fruit into her every day, but the rest of the time it's bread, toast and cakes and biscuits. Once a week I buy her what I think is enough choccy biscuits to last the week, allowing about half a packet per day, but she always runs out after three or four days and goes to her little local shop and pays through the nose for a couple of packets of jaffa cakes.

    Weirdly, if I double the amount of chocolate biscuits to one packet a day they barely seem to last 4 or 5 days. she just gets through them extra fast.
  5. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    I had to take with Tom the view that calories were calories and at the worst stage he was eating rice pudding mixed with double cream.

    I just didn't need him to lose anymore weight.

    I accept that healthy eating is best, but sometimes any eating is acceptable.
  6. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    It seems to be a common trait with dementia to crave sugar and loose the sense of taste. My mum should have shares in Mr Kipling, she eats so many of his cakes!! I bought her packs of fondant fancies and angel slices on Wednesday, and they were gone today, as well as the fruit pies she already had. But we have to persuade her to eat a micro meal and then only if it is spicy and tasty. She hates what she calls bland food. She would live on fish and chips if someone would buy it for her every day!
    She will also eat jelly/fruit pots and custard pots, and grapes and pears.
    She starts back at her lunch club in a week where she gets a good hot meal 3 times a week, and will eat everything put in front of her. This way she at least gets a bit of everything.
  7. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    A care worker in one of the care homes I visited last summer in the vain hope of getting my mother into one explained the sweet tooth thing to me and it's as Pear Trees explained it's to do with losing taste sensations. Apparently in all of us the last taste to go is sweet and so that's what's most pleasing for someone very aged, with dementia or not. She recommended adding a spoon of honey into the Horlicks.
    So my mum who never ate cakes or put sugar in her tea is now really subsisting on sugar and gin.
    My son and joke that the St Bernard we send to find her (should she ever disappear up a mountain) best have a pre-mixed gin & Ribena, two digestive biscuits and a banana in his little barrel, else my Ma's not coming back with him!:)
  8. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    hi just putting my two tuppence in here, yes it seems to be that (I am sure I read it on some thread here) that the taste of sweetness was the last taste sense to go and since , in my mother words, everything is bland and tasteless, the only thing she likes now are "Krispy Creme Donuts" and iced Maidera in fact yesterday yes I saw she had put Mr Kipling cakes in her trolley and she will kill for custard.
  9. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    now so do I and with a slice of lemon it is one of my 5 a day..........:eek::D sorry not 5 G+T's.
  10. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    In my experience its not only to do with losing taste sensations but more to do with the loss of thinking ability and cognition and trying to relieve it by getting energy to the brain cells. Pre symptoms, I assume just like anyone else if I was hungry and nowhere near a meal I would grab a biscuit bar or something to boost my energy and would soon function better, but did eat a fairly balanced diet. Despite my symptoms I try and keep my sugar intake down, but is very difficult. I try and eat more protein to sustain my body's needs and can eat like a horse! GI loaf find sweet and filling and nutritious from the store owned by one of the Germany brothers begins with L;) Bananas vital to keep in stock.:)
  11. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    MIL was addicted to one make of cake. Two years after she died the company ceased trading. :D
  12. Tubbsy

    Tubbsy Registered User

    Sep 5, 2010
    My mum was diagnosed 5 years ago and whilst she always had a sweet tooth, since then her diet has consisted of only sweet treats and prawn sandwiches! I take her shopping and she literally clears the shelves of her favourite biscuits....8 packets or more at a time! The big problem with all of this is that her teeth, which she always took such great care and expense over, have now rotted away and fallen out, leaving her with only 1 at the top front of her mouth! She doesn't remember what other foods she used to,like are eg quiche so I've given up trying to persuade he to eat other things.
  13. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    Yes I know all about the biscuits until someone introduces her to another kind........in mater's case it is egg and cress with the crusts cut off.........and fruit pastiles where the rage for a while. There is a sweetie shop in her town that sells tablet, I have to get her 5 bags at a time..... as for teeth she has been lucky so far
  14. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    That really made me smile. Thanks Onlyme!

    I'm another one who says don't worry too much about calories - it's not so important at that stage in life.
  15. yadit0

    yadit0 Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    I am glad I have read these threads as I was getting worried my Mum of 87 with Alzheimer's will only eat trifles, crem caramels, cheesecakes in fact anything sweet. I find er delivered meals in he dustbin, I do her shopping and apart from bread jam milk and the odd pack of cooked meats my shopping trolly if full of sweet things for mum.
  16. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Don't get me started on Christmas.
    Last year Mums shopping trolley was so full of chocolate, biscuits, Christmas mince pies, Christmas cake, puddings, ice cream, she could have set up her own shop!
  17. Johnsy1

    Johnsy1 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2015
    Sugar and spice and all things nice


    My mum was exactly the same. I went over to her house one day and she had eaten 6 kitkat, 3 choc ices, 1 full swiss roll and 4 chocolate rolls....( I knew the amount because I had only bought them the day before). bless- her answer was..... I haven`t eaten them, it must have been the fairies!!!!!

    Greedy fairies!!!! lol

    Now she says I don't want them------they are too sweet!!!
  18. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    My mother in law blames her next door neighbour who comes round for a cup of coffee once a week. Evidently "sometimes she takes two". :D

    She only has three of her own teeth, having had false ones since the 60s so we're not too worried on that front.
  19. Grandma Joan

    Grandma Joan Registered User

    Mar 29, 2013
    My MIL is 87 and 3+ years into diagnosis. We have trouble getting her to eat meals. She was always one for eating healthily with the right portions of fruit and veg each day.

    Soon after diagnosis we realised she wasn't cooking as vegetables were rotting in the bottom of her fridge & meat/fish were going out of date.

    So we began to have frozen meals delivered but she couldn't remember they were there. Or she was reverting to the "old days" when food in the freezer was just a stand by and we just couldn't get her to use them.

    So now we buy "fresh" ready meals from the supermarket and ring her each day to prompt her to have one.

    Initially we noticed she was getting through piles of sweet food, as you say, sweets chocolates, cakes, biscuits but even that has slowed down now. Whereas I would need to replace these things every few days, now they go out of date too.

    She seems to eat very little now and in her words "feels full" but sometimes I can hear her tummy rumbling so I'm sure she hasn't eaten much.

    Without actually being there with her I don't know if she perhaps has just eaten a packet of crisps which is making her feel full but of course nutritionally is sadly lacking.

    We visited the GP not so long ago and I asked her to weigh MIL. She had lost 2.5 stone but that was over 3 years. So now I feel I could probably have her weight checked again after another 6 months and see how much more weight she has lost.

    I also think she has a bad tooth. She was always very proud that she has all her own teeth which actually is quite an achievement at 87!!

    I'm trying not to get too hung up about her eating habits but sometimes I worry I could be accused of neglect if she is just surviving on cereal and maybe a trifle every day . What can I do?
  20. beverrino

    beverrino Registered User

    Jan 12, 2015
    my Mum is obsessed with dates!. if a ready meal has a date on that's not in the next day or so, she wont eat it - has to wait until its about ready to run out of date. Infuriating - now I have to try and find meals with close dates on so she will eat them.

    Just over the past few days though, she has started eating a sandwich for lunch and then a sandwich for her tea - ham being the choice nearly always. Before this she had always had something that resembled a meal (ready meal, pie or pizza) - yes perhaps not so healthy.

    I only know what she has for lunch as she writes it in her diary now - stops me having to rummage through the bin!

    The way I look at it - is at least she is eating (although she insists she is never hungry)

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