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Eating problems

Mum mo

Registered User
Jan 1, 2019
26
0
Hi I care for my husband who has Alzheimers, gradually he is getting more picky with food. He won't have a 'proper 'cooked meal and will only push it around the plate even what were favourite foods. Basically he only wants sweet things, porridge with bananas in, milk puddings etc. He will have soup sometimes and small sandwiches. Is this part of the advancing decline or should I get medical advice. Part of me feels that as he's almost 90 I should stop fretting about it and let him have just what he wants. I would appreciate any advice and tips please.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
9,138
0
Bristol
My partner has been a bit like that recently as too many medical problems have accelerated her demise. I appreciate how worrying it must be. If your husband is eating soup and sandwiches it is probably not down to constipation, maybe caused by medication, but getting a bit of advice from his GP is always worth it.
The other option option is cutting the food into small pieces or putting it in a blender, but I and the nursing home staff have had mixed results with that approach. Good luck @Mum mo.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
350
0
Dementia seems to bring on a sweet tooth! I would try to find out why he only wants sweet and soft foods (my mum hasn’t any teeth, so that’s her reason for living on soup, bread and cake!). Could he be having trouble using cutlery or chewing, swallowing, or something of that nature?

If it turns out he’s just developed a new preference then soup and sandwiches are at least nourishing. If he’s still accepting them I wouldn’t be too worried. I’m not a medic though - just my opinion!
 

Mum mo

Registered User
Jan 1, 2019
26
0
Thank you, he's always had a sweet tooth lol, I've been cutting his food for some time as he had trouble using a knife. He only takes one memantine tablet a day as apart from this awful condition he was always fit and strong, so sad. I think I'll probably have a word with the practice nurse but carry on as we are for now, his food is his only pleasure now. I'm so glad I've found this forum it's a comfort reading other peoples stories.
 

Runawaytrain

New member
May 17, 2021
9
0
My husband is 73, we have a memory clinic appointment tomorrow some six months after his initial referral but we both know that he has dementia. His tea, home made beef stew with buttery mashed potatoes is currently congealing on the plate on the table where it has been for the last hour and a half. My gentle entreaties to eat it before it gets cold have received an angry ‘I’ll get it in a minute’. He refused to have it on a tray on his lap and he has now fallen into a deep-ish sleep. So today’s nutrition has been a bowl of oatflakes , a slice of madeira cake and a toffee crisp; two cups of tea and a cup of coffee were not drunk. I have no idea how he can function at all like this with so little food and negligible fluids. He is not concerned and I have learned that I cause myself more harm by stressing about this so am trying to quash my natural instinct to coax and cajole him into eating.
 

ClaireeW

Registered User
Sep 22, 2021
47
0
One of the questions on the questionnaire I was given at Mum's first assessment asked whether the person had developed a significant preference for sweet foods. So I assume it is a well known issue with PWD
 

Mum mo

Registered User
Jan 1, 2019
26
0
Thank you that helps a lot , thankfully at the moment he drinks several cups of tea a day plus hot chocolate. I know what you mean about where they get the strength from, he has manic periods of no sleep for two or 3 nights and is constantly on the go has to be seen to be believed I can only think it must be adrenalin or sheer will power that does it. Luckily he then has a couple of days sleeping which awful to say is absolute bliss.
 

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
164
0
My dad also has developed a sweet tooth. When I raised it with his GP the advice was as long as he is eating don’t worry about where the calories are coming from. I think it’s fairly common with dementia.
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
135
0
Hi I care for my husband who has Alzheimers, gradually he is getting more picky with food. He won't have a 'proper 'cooked meal and will only push it around the plate even what were favourite foods. Basically he only wants sweet things, porridge with bananas in, milk puddings etc. He will have soup sometimes and small sandwiches. Is this part of the advancing decline or should I get medical advice. Part of me feels that as he's almost 90 I should stop fretting about it and let him have just what he wants. I would appreciate any advice and tips please.
Hi

My Dad has really, really poor teeth combined with always having a liking towards sweet things anyway but he basically eats bananas and grapes, toast but not the crusts, weetabix for breakfast/porridge or sometimes lunch .He has been known to eat cake for lunch, chocolate or anything else he can just grab without using cutlery. We keep a stock of frozen meals me and my sister have made in his freezer , but he doesn't always eat those to be fair . He tried Wiltshire farm foods and declared those horrible and not big enough lol, and didn't taste like home made food. He had phases of wanting certain things and then not others. Don't give me peas for example , waste of time they are and then yes I will eat the bigger peas lol. I think they just proved too tricky to control to be honest and rolled everywhere.

I know taste buds change as well as we get older and I kind of made myself think well at least he is eating something, okay not exactly healthy but he's nearly 80, clearly not loosing weight etc on saying all that it goes against my instincts of good healthy food being important for health and well being. I did wonder if the sheer effort of eating is also just so tiring and hard work that also has an impact.

I think it is a quite a common thing for sweet things. I wondered if having like more of a platter thing would be easier rather than a whole meal is easier, you could include more savoury things like bits of chicken or vegetable sticks, pieces of fruit? Just an idea. Soups are good though because they keep you hydrated as well and nothing wrong with sandwiches either.

I also tried milk shakes at one point but they were just met with what are these things? Then I thought well Dad has never had one of those his whole life so to try something new know would be hard only to discover he had been taken out for lunch by a friend and had red wine which he has also never ever drank before lol. You just cannot predict sometimes what might work or not.

Sending a virtual hug 🥰 Don't forget you as well in all this xx look after yourself too xx
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,445
0
South coast
I wondered if having like more of a platter thing would be easier rather than a whole meal is easier, you could include more savoury things like bits of chicken or vegetable sticks, pieces of fruit?
I used to do this with mum and it worked quite well. I used to put a bowl of different finger foods by her while she was watching TV and tell her to just dive in. She would say that she couldnt possibly eat all of that, but half an hour later it was all gone!
I used to put things like cubes of cheese, mini pork pies cut into quarters, sticks of cucumber, tiny tomatoes, fruit cut into bits (grapes halved were popular), hula hoops, sandwiches cut into inch squares, pieces of cooked chicken, cocktail sausages - all sorts.
I think she was beginning to find traditional meals using cutlery difficult to manoeuvre.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
786
0
Although Mum had a reasonable appetite until the last few days, she could not manage a knife and fork for many months, nor keep food on a plate. I resorted to one of those small brown ceramic pie dishes, and a fork and soup spoon. This worked pretty well, as she mainly ate stews, shepherd's or fish pies, curries etc., all of which could be managed with the spoon. She always had soup for lunch, into which I broke pieces of bread, which gave something a bit more substantial for the spoon to grab - otherwise she tended to spill it all over herself and the table.
 

Mum mo

Registered User
Jan 1, 2019
26
0
Hi

My Dad has really, really poor teeth combined with always having a liking towards sweet things anyway but he basically eats bananas and grapes, toast but not the crusts, weetabix for breakfast/porridge or sometimes lunch .He has been known to eat cake for lunch, chocolate or anything else he can just grab without using cutlery. We keep a stock of frozen meals me and my sister have made in his freezer , but he doesn't always eat those to be fair . He tried Wiltshire farm foods and declared those horrible and not big enough lol, and didn't taste like home made food. He had phases of wanting certain things and then not others. Don't give me peas for example , waste of time they are and then yes I will eat the bigger peas lol. I think they just proved too tricky to control to be honest and rolled everywhere.

I know taste buds change as well as we get older and I kind of made myself think well at least he is eating something, okay not exactly healthy but he's nearly 80, clearly not loosing weight etc on saying all that it goes against my instincts of good healthy food being important for health and well being. I did wonder if the sheer effort of eating is also just so tiring and hard work that also has an impact.

I think it is a quite a common thing for sweet things. I wondered if having like more of a platter thing would be easier rather than a whole meal is easier, you could include more savoury things like bits of chicken or vegetable sticks, pieces of fruit? Just an idea. Soups are good though because they keep you hydrated as well and nothing wrong with sandwiches either.

I also tried milk shakes at one point but they were just met with what are these things? Then I thought well Dad has never had one of those his whole life so to try something new know would be hard only to discover he had been taken out for lunch by a friend and had red wine which he has also never ever drank before lol. You just cannot predict sometimes what might work or not.

Sending a virtual hug 🥰 Don't forget you as well in all this xx look after yourself too xx
Thank you all so much this has made a real difference to me. I didn't realise that so many people have had the same or similar issues and it's not just me. Have picked up on several tips that I will try..
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
135
0
I used to do this with mum and it worked quite well. I used to put a bowl of different finger foods by her while she was watching TV and tell her to just dive in. She would say that she couldnt possibly eat all of that, but half an hour later it was all gone!
I used to put things like cubes of cheese, mini pork pies cut into quarters, sticks of cucumber, tiny tomatoes, fruit cut into bits (grapes halved were popular), hula hoops, sandwiches cut into inch squares, pieces of cooked chicken, cocktail sausages - all sorts.
I think she was beginning to find traditional meals using cutlery difficult to manoeuvre.
Hi

I think that's a good idea. When Dad said about peas at first I was like but everyone likes peas surely but if you then think more about it they are tricky little beggars lol. I bought some stackable and freezable trays off amazon and just cook an extra portion of food for Dad. If he is having a good day he can mircrowave but I could do sandwiches and fruit in there as well and put in the fridge. They have three sections to them and the lids are quite easy to get off. You just have one thing to deal with and no real washing up either. I know it's a temporary sort of solution as a lot of these things are but sharing ideas on these sorts of forums is really useful.

Take Care x
 

Yankeeabroad

Registered User
Oct 24, 2021
79
0
Hi — I’ve been advised by a couple of doctors that PWD will develop a preference for sweet things as time progresses. One doctor even said to sprinkle sugar over any/all food as this progresses (even green beans!!) to ensure calories in. Just as long as there are no problems with sugar intake such as diabetes.
 

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
60
0
When my mum was normal, she ate very little and always healthy vegetarian food and hated anything sweet. Now she can't get enough biscuits and chocolate, she will scoff and scoff until I physically take them away and then she'll eat something else. Thing is, despite all this she's still stick thin.
 

JojoB54

New member
Aug 12, 2021
2
0
My 93 year old father is the same. All his life he has been fanatical about eating healthily and rarely touched sweet stuff, except the off pudding. Since becoming ill, he has devoured huge bars of chocolate, cakes and biscuits. I don't mind as he doesn't eat much else, although he does have a good breakfast of toast and porridge and I try to get him to eat a meal oat least once a day, albeit soft foods or pies. Had Memory Clinic Assessment and still waiting to see consultant. They said it could be 8-10 weeks.
 

Valenca

New member
Aug 26, 2019
4
0
My husband is 73, we have a memory clinic appointment tomorrow some six months after his initial referral but we both know that he has dementia. His tea, home made beef stew with buttery mashed potatoes is currently congealing on the plate on the table where it has been for the last hour and a half. My gentle entreaties to eat it before it gets cold have received an angry ‘I’ll get it in a minute’. He refused to have it on a tray on his lap and he has now fallen into a deep-ish sleep. So today’s nutrition has been a bowl of oatflakes , a slice of madeira cake and a toffee crisp; two cups of tea and a cup of coffee were not drunk. I have no idea how he can function at all like this with so little food and negligible fluids. He is not concerned and I have learned that I cause myself more harm by stressing about this so am trying to quash my natural instinct to coax and cajole him into eating.
 

Josh60

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
71
0
Sheffield
Hi I care for my husband who has Alzheimers, gradually he is getting more picky with food. He won't have a 'proper 'cooked meal and will only push it around the plate even what were favourite foods. Basically he only wants sweet things, porridge with bananas in, milk puddings etc. He will have soup sometimes and small sandwiches. Is this part of the advancing decline or should I get medical advice. Part of me feels that as he's almost 90 I should stop fretting about it and let him have just what he wants. I would appreciate any advice and tips please.
My wife has Alzheimers and was diagnosed over six years ago. Before the onset of Alzheimers she wasn't the least bit interested in anything sweet. She went into care last summer as I couldn't cope anymore. I have noticed while she has been in care that she wants anything sweet, I asked the carers and they tell me that it's nothing unusual as the Alzheimers progresses and not to worry about it. All residents in the home seem to want sweet biscuits etc in the afternoon so as much as it maybe a worry to yourself I think that it's perhaps better to give him what he likes and enjoys.
 

Mum mo

Registered User
Jan 1, 2019
26
0
Thank-you everyone, all the replies have put my mind at rest and rather than getting upset about what I think he should eat, am letting him have what he wants .
 

Valenca

New member
Aug 26, 2019
4
0
My husband with dementia used to eat anything, he loved food, but began to resist most of what I prepared, especially vegetables which I enjoy. However he enjoys Muesli, Magnum bars and yogurts, so I have made those available to him to eat as much as he wants. I keep the container of Muesli, milk, a bowl and spoon handy so he can help himself and some days he will eat several bowls. He enjoys empanadas, and sometimes he will eat potatoes and chicken which I cut up for him. It took some trial and error to find what he will eat and I was concerned that he was losing a lot of weight, but since allowing him as much as he wants of those things he enjoys and will eat he is healthier. I think it is best to make sure they eat regardless of what it might be, try to get as much healthy foods into their diet. I prepare omelettes with ham and cheese almost daily and he loves them, at least they provide him with protein. Altho I would not want to eat the same thing every day I remind myself that his memory is so bad he doesn't remember what he ate an hour ago, so I just prepare whatever I know he likes and I prepare something else for myself. I used to get frustrated preparing a nice meal and him not eating it, but over time I have learned it is best to adapt to his food preference so that he is getting what I know he will eat.