1. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    My Grandma has been taken to hospital for six weeks for an assessment. She has settled in (surprisingly) well, and although she mentions 'home' she never gets angry or demands to go home, and she doesn't particularly try to leave the ward.
    The only thing is that she has not been eating. She doesn't say there is anything wrong with the food (and they have tried to ake her things she likes) but she just says she's not hungry and she's eaten already.
    Mum and Granddad have tried to take in things she specifically likes that they have prepared at home, but again she eats a tiny bit and then says she's full.
    This was never a problem until she went into the hospital.
    Would they do a physical exam if she carries on not eating? Could this be the way she is showing her displeasure at being in the hospital?
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Katy

    a bit spooky because your Grandma is using exactly the same words that I do when in a strange place and faced with food that I don't fancy.

    Try some new 'favourite foods' [yes that is a bit oxymoronic, isn't it?]. Jan liked a whole range of things she never had much before, when I started to take them in. Mr Kipling Country Slices, Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, home made apple puree and custard, etc.

    But if she won't eat your special stuff either, perhaps there is something else - is she constipated, perhaps? Or it may be that a lack of exercise makes her not feel hungry.

    Or maybe she is depressed.

    After Jan had first gone to her care home, I went on a regime of one meal a day - a single Weetabix - for a while. I didn't feel hungry, couldn't be bothered, just ate that amount so I would have the strength to drive to visit her.
     
  3. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    Hi Brucie, thank for your reply.
    I hope you are eating more now - one weetabix a day sounds like a miserable diet I recently tried and failed!
    You could be right that it could be lack of exercise - she used to spend her days wandering the streets going 'home' and when she was OK she and my Grandad used to walk a couple of miles into town and back most days. There's not much we can do about the exercise thing really.
    I will try taking some new treats for her to see if anything takes her fancy.
    She is having a check up today, so they will at least be able to make her have some of those fortified drinks.
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Katy, hope things soon improve with your Nan, Brucie has covered it all, so just sending you love and a hug. She. XX
     
  5. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    Thank you :)
     
  6. danielle

    danielle Registered User

    Apr 9, 2005
    26
    not eating

    Hi Katy
    Dont think i will be off much help but... i have same probs with my uncle...
    He has been in hospital for approx 10 weeks he was admitted with chest probs and thing seem to have got worse over time. He was recently diagnosed with vascular dimentia and reoccuring chest probs have added to his decline (i feel)

    Recently he has refused to eat for days apparantly... (he has lost weight.)

    But there was a lovley nurse on the ward who encouraged uncle Tom..
    He only ate little bits but i felt this was an improvement.

    She is no longer involved in his care i found out today..

    When i visit him he will ask for his chocolate and his juice, when i pass them to him he puts them under his pillow and tells me that its for later...
    I have taken different food to him but nothing... i have tried and tried but the best i can do is get him to eat 2 squares of choc and half a beaker of his juice... thats it.
    I automatically felt the staff were not looking after him properly.
    so... I followed this up and found out that he was recieving a meal replacement drink in his beaker.??? couldnt tell you if he's genuinally taking it though...

    I really dont know the answer to this but i feel that it may help you to know that you are not alone with your concerns and knowing how hard ive tried i know how frustrated you must feel......I feel like im banging my head against a brick wall at present.
    Sorry for not being able to advice you, but for me the fact that i was not alone has been the biggest boost ive had for a good while....
    hope you find the same
    Danni x
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, yes, my Mum was put on suplements too, but you do have to get it down them. It's the same old story, we will take the time to do this, sadly not all the nursing staff will. All you can do is your best. At the end of the day, it is the disease which is affecting their brain and making them not eat. In a way, nature is taking over as it would for an animal. Sorry if thats not what you want to hear, sometimes they do pick up and start eating again, but you need to know that it is a progression of the illness. All we do with love is take time and give help more. The long term prospect will always be the same. Sometimes I think maybe because they see this so often, perhaps this is why the nursing staff kind of harden up, they know the battle is lost and can't be bothered to just make the person happy and comfortable like we do regardless of the outcome. Just be with them, love them, offer titbits, but don't force it, you can do no more. Love She. XX
     
  8. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Hi Katy

    Just from my own limited experience with my late Dad's Vascular Dementia I would follow up the physical route too, i.e. try to make sure there is nothing wrong that way (Dad was on aspirin for his heart probs for years and this it turned out had created stomach problems for him which Mum and I never realized about until too late) - presumably the medical staff know that your Gran is used to much more exercise? I'm sorry as I'm sure you've tried everything I can suggest already, but I wonder if there's any way you can get your Gran to explain her feelings about where she is (if she's able to communicate them) and see if she has any concerns which might explain the not eating. Bruce could be right about it's just one of her ways of coping with a new environment/situation - has she been in very long yet? I used to try to reassure Dad as much as possible and he did seem happier eating with me and Mum there/us eating too when he was still physically able to, which was up to very near the end. We took bananas in often as he liked them and one day he amazed me by taking the butter knife I had taken in from home from me (after begging my pardon!) and slicing up the banana for himself - but I have realized since coming on TP that we were very lucky in many ways, and it can be so much harder.

    Thinking of you

    Claire
     
  9. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    Hi Danielle, Sheila and Claire, thanks for your replies.
    They are giving her supplements at the moment, but I don't know if they have physically examined her to see whether there's anything wrong.
    Sheila, I did wonder if this was just the natural 'next step' but it coincided exactly with her being admitted to hospital so....on the other hand it could be that she had a decline which led to her being admitted and also led to the not eating I suppose.
    I'll try to find out if they plan on giving her a physical examination (and hopefully if not, why not!) but we have already tried asking her, she just says she's already eaten and she's full. We know she hasn't eaten (her intake is monitored) and trying to tell her she hasn't is impossible.
    We are lucky though that she has settled in so well and isn't constantly asking why she isn't going home. I really appreciate your answers as I know everyone has their own problems.
     
  10. City Claire

    City Claire Registered User

    Nov 1, 2004
    36
    Oxford
    Hi again Katy

    The last thing you need is me banging on I'm sure, but I just wondered if you had tried approaching it by not actually asking about the food/eating directly? It's a very long shot but there just might be something seemingly unrelated which your Grandma is concerned about.

    Glad she has settled in well, it is a big thing to know someone is not feeling anxious all the time about where they are.

    It's good that she has you in her corner! :)

    Claire
     
  11. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    So you mean like asking her other things about her opinions of the place? Or how she is feeling? I am going to see her tomorrow so I'll give it a go. The sad thing is if she does say something relevant I probably wouldn't filter it out from all the stuff she normally talks about. But I'll pay attention!
    Thanks for your advice
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, when Mum was in hospital before she broke her hip there, I used to take her for afternoon tea to the hospital cafe, we all ate and drank together and I gave her a banana I took in as well, seemed to help get her to eat a bit. Might help? Love She. XX
     
  13. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    134
    Hi Sheila,

    Unfortunately I don't think we can take her out of the ward. The good news is she is eating a bit more than she was so, along with the build up drinks, she won't starve.
    I've just had a flash of inspiration - I think she doesn't like to eat when we aren't - she feels like everyone should be, it's the hostess in her. Was just thinking about the way we eventually got her to eat. I don't know why that applys to the meals she gets there though.
    I did try talking to her more generally about how shewas feeling, whether she liked the place etcx, but I got "fine", "yes everything's ok"...you get the idea
    Thank you so much for your help, and I'll keep you posted.
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Well done Katy, yes, a few lunch times when Mum was bedbound, I took my sarnie and ate it as I fed her with her meal, it did help. I think you are right, they like to be sociable eaters, probably the maternal/paternal streak, or just the way they are, not liking to eat in front of you and not be able to share etc. So glad she is eating a little better, its all such a worry isn't it. Love She. XX
     

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