1. GinnyJan

    GinnyJan Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    48
    My Mum came to live with us a few weeks ago, immediately after her diagnosis of Alzheimer's. She started on Donepezil on 4th July and her appetite has decreased rapidly. I've spoken to the memory team and they want to wait another week or so to see if there's any improvement.
    Meanwhile, all she will eat is sweet stuff - this has always been her favourite but she would eat the good stuff before a pudding. Now, it's ONLY cake, biscuits etc that she'll look at.
    The main trouble is that she's Type 2 diabetic :(
    Should I indulge her cravings - she's 90 after all, it's a bit off when she can't have what she wants.
    Yesterday she had a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes for breakfast, two small slices of ginger cake for lunch and two Kipling's apple pies with double cream for tea :eek:
    If I hadn't given her these things, she would have gone without. I can see she's losing weight.
    Can anyone come up with ideas of what I can give her that may bridge the gap between something nourishing and the rubbish she wants to eat, please?
     
  2. acorns

    acorns Registered User

    Jan 25, 2018
    103
    Do you think she is choosing food which is 'soft' - cake, apple pies, cornflakes in milk? If so it could be issues with swallowing. It's probably not that if her condition has just been diagnosed. If you are in doubt ask for an assessment from a speech therapist (SLT). My mother has been struggling with eating for the last six months - now it's thick puree or liquids only - but she is in year 13 of her dementia. Perhaps your mum just has some loose fillings so soft food is easier to chew?
     
  3. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    323
    Female
    I would check with the GP regarding the diabetes. Mum is similar in her eating habits now and she was borderline diabetic last check she had but her GP said that watching her diet was the least of her problems and if that is all she would eat then it is better than nothing. Sometimes we just can't win no matter what we try and do
     
  4. GinnyJan

    GinnyJan Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    48
    Although Mum has only just been diagnosed, we all think (the family, that is) that she has probably been suffering with dementia for two or three years and she does choke on food sometimes......is that a symptom?
    I agree with that GP, anything is better than nothing.
    Onwards and upwards I suppose, thank you for your input :)
     
  5. Mrsbarwocle

    Mrsbarwocle New member

    Jul 14, 2018
    3
    My Mum will only eat sweet things too, carers tell me this is very common with dementia, she asks for ice cream for every meal. I can occasionally get her to eat the crust less quiche from Sainsbury’s but she will also only eat soft things. I try not to worry as long as she is eating something.
     
  6. acorns

    acorns Registered User

    Jan 25, 2018
    103
    If your mum is choking a bit it would be best to get it checked out with the speech therapist for peace of mind. If you do an internet search for 'dysphagia' or 'dysphagia diet' it will bring up some useful information about it and nhs trust examples. If you are waiting a long time for an appointment you could try giving her very soft foods to see if it made a difference. An example could be foods such as porridge, boiled eggs and stew which can all be thinned down further in a blender with added milk, butter or cream to achieve a nice smooth consistency.
     
  7. Megp

    Megp Registered User

    Jan 31, 2016
    2
    My mam is suffering from Alzheimer's with vascular dementia. I recently completed a course on "Understanding Dementia" and one of the points mentioned was how taste receptors are affected by dementia. The first of the taste receptors to decline are the sweet and salty. With regard to the sweet receptor, people may start to add more sugar to things or choose foods that are extra sweet, which is what is happening with my mother. Unfortunately, it is all part of the illness.
     
  8. Lilye

    Lilye Registered User

    Oct 15, 2016
    15
    My Mums appetite has diminished greatly over the last few months and she to prefers sweet things. She will pick at savoury but devour sweet.
     
  9. splitz

    splitz Registered User

    Mar 18, 2015
    1
    Do you enjoy home cooking? There are some healthy fruits and vegetables often used in vegan recepies, I.e. carrots in cake, avocado pears mixed with chocolate to make things like chocolate brownies. Veg can be disguised quite easily and some people feed fussy children like this.
     
  10. GinnyJan

    GinnyJan Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    48
    Thank you all for your help.
    As for baking/home cooking, I'm rather ashamed to admit that it all seems to be too much trouble. Mum lives with us and both she and my husband have Alzheimer's - it takes all my energy to deal with the things that HAVE to be done so I tend to avoid anything where there is an easier option :oops:
     
  11. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,815
    UK

    Me too, I used to cook, cook and cook again from scratch, but not anymore.

    Maybe already mentioned but it could be a side effect from medication, some do tend to suppress the appetite, just a thought.
     
  12. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    711
    Kent
    Some posters have mentioned “grazing “, putting a plate of finger food within reach. If no swallowing problems.....cheese on a cracker, some cheeses have fruit in them, Stilton with apricots etc. Poached carrot sticks or circles, I think the style is called copper pennies. Grapes, orange segments.
    Some of the fortified drinks will freeze into sort of a lollipop.
    Keep it small and pretty. Plate colour has also been found to increase consumption.
     
  13. Winnie10

    Winnie10 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2013
    35
    Sweet potatoes, I cooked equal amounts of white and sweet potatoes and smashed, My mum would always eat anything orange first. Sweet sauces to meals ie. sweet and sour sauce with chicken (instead of gravy). Add tomato sauce to gravy makes it sweeter, Soup, fish fingers, fish pie, baked beans, scambled egg, banana with a dash of honey.
    I agree with Acorns saying
    "Check out with the speech therapist for peace of mind. If you do an internet search for 'dysphagia' or 'dysphagia diet' it will bring up some useful information about it and nhs trust examples"
     
  14. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,662
    Oh @GinnyJan I thought you had decided not to have your mum living with you. I am not surprised that home cooking becomes too much trouble. I hope that you are getting some help because caring for two people with alzheimers must be very hard.

    Please look after yourself as it is important.
     
  15. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,352
    Nottinghamshire
    @GinnyJan as @Duggies-girl says - look after yourself!!

    My late mum also had diabetes and dementia. A terrible combination. She was so careful about her diet before. She lost loads of weight but would seldom eat anything other than desserts or, by the end, chocolate. It was that or starve.

    My thinking is that quality of life is more important than quantity. If I thought my dad had been put on a drug that stopped him eating I'd ask for it to be stopped, or reduce the dose, but that's just my personal opinion.

    Would your mum eat something like peanut butter and banana (or low sugar jam) sandwiches? They are sweet but have some nutritional value, especially if she'll eat whole meal bread. Chocolate hazelnut spread and banana is yummy too.

    When my mum was off her food I used to think in terms of what I would feed to a fussy toddler I used to take her pots of (baby) fruit purée and fromage frais which she loved.
     
  16. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,662
    Also @GinnyJan you can ask her GP for some prescription milk shakes called ensure. My dad loves them and they have 300 calories in each small drink.

    They are expensive to buy but worth a try.
     
  17. Kat.moo

    Kat.moo Registered User

    Jul 11, 2018
    35
    Hi I applaud you for being a Carer for 2 people. Don’t be ashamed of doing what’s more important. Cooking and baking new things would be at the back of my mind too. I went to gp when my gran started donepezil and appetite went down. She was losing weight not necessarily because of the medication she just didn’t feel like eating and would say I’ve eaten or feel full. But whenever anyone would turn up she would always be munching on biscuits. She was referred to a dietician and I would advise you to get referred too. They give you so many different ways to add more calories. Adding extra butter margarine. Fortifying milk etc and advise on food supplements like fortip, callogen.
    Currently my grans been prescribed callogen which she enjoys. All the best
     
  18. Kat.moo

    Kat.moo Registered User

    Jul 11, 2018
    35
    Also my gran chews food but doesn’t swallow so things like dry meat chicken is a no no. She has a full set of teeth at 83 but the swallowing becomes difficult. She currently eats one meal a day and enjoys sweet things more too. Has tea and biscuits quite a lot. her Consultant said to let it go if she don’t eat fruit and veg as long as she’s eating something.
     
  19. GinnyJan

    GinnyJan Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    48
    Thank you all so much for your help. I've not had time to come on here for the last week or so but, it's a great help just to know that there are people who have 'been there, done that' and to see canny little ways round this problem.
    Mum's been off the Donepezil for over a week now and I do think her appetite has increased a (very) little. I think once the heat dies down she may find food more interesting too.
     

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