help with food any ideas


Registered User
Jan 16, 2008
Hi to everyone having read a number of posts its good to feel you are not alone .I care for my father who has vascular dementia and would welcome any advice on feeding dad for a while now have been losing weight and having trouble getting him to eat we have tried smaller meals more often different types of food some with success and other with not the nurse did give us some supplement drinks to try and she advised to contact the G.P for more if dad would drink them which we did only to be told they were no longer available he did suggest giving him nibbles beside him which we do anyway not for the first time feeling let down by the lack of advice or help from my dads doctor we carried on but the eating got worse so i rang the doctor again he told me they do not like to give these drinks out as they are very expensive but he would get them in a nursing home that was it i was watching my dad waste away , i asked for another doctor to do a home visit today at midday i got the call from the doctor who was comming asking what the problems were of which i told him he did not see the point of coming out to see dad as he would only say the same as the first doctor basically i feel i have been told tuff get on with it bring him into the surgery if you want to of which he knows he cannot walk to get him in and out the car the only way is for me to lift him without any lifting aids , of which social services have told me not to lift him as i will damage my back but that was back in october how they think he can get to the toilet or shower without me lifting him is beyond me .Sorry if i have gone on its just i feel so angry with the way our elders are treated we lost our 10 year old son to cancer a few years ago i can only say the treatment doctors ,nurses etc were second to none .Thanks for you all letting me air my views and wish you all well for 2008.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi Benkimmy and welcome to Talking Point

we have tried smaller meals more often different types of food some with success
I did find with my mother that large portions really put her off and she wouldn't eat any of it. Also I had to be quite firm with carers about dessert - my feeling is/was that if all she wanted to eat was her pudding then at almost 90 she should have that choice. Before that they would wait and wait before bringing the pud, whereupon she would go to sleep!

i rang the doctor again he told me they do not like to give these drinks out as they are very expensive but he would get them in a nursing home
Absolutely appaling! Anyone would think the doctor was paying for them out of his own pocket. The BMA say this is the procedure to complain and I would do it -

"If you have concerns about the treatment that you have received at your local NHS surgery, you can raise the matter directly with your GP, the practice manager or the senior partner at your surgery. If the matter cannot be resolved immediately, then you have the option of taking the matter further by making a formal complaint. This can either be done orally (in which case a written record of the complaint is made) or in writing to the GP surgery. You should receive a written response to your complaint within 10 working days.
If you prefer to talk to someone who is not directly involved in your care, you can talk to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your local Primary Care Trust (PCT). PCTs are responsible for the delivery of NHS healthcare services in the geographical areas they cover. You can find out more about the role of PCTs in 'About the NHS', on the NHS website. "


Have you had a carers assessment? This is your right and may be a way to access the hoists etc that you obviously need. However these may be sourced by the NHS. I'm not sure, I'm afraid.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
What about milkshakes or ice cream? You can always use a multi-vitamin if you are concerned about that.

Is there any particular food he used to really like? I don't think it's really a problem if he has a monotonous diet as long as he enjoys it.


Registered User
Jan 12, 2008
Hi Benkimmy

Typical - everything seems to be down to money these days. I remember my dad having this sort of drink supplement (he didn't have dementia, but he had ulcers and couldn't keep any solid food down) and it was supplied as needed, but it was a few years ago.

I would definitely follow Jennifer's advice re the complaint and also get a carer's assessment.

This information sheet on eating my have some hints or tips to help.


Registered User
Oct 20, 2007
Hi Benkimmy,
I have just read your post and I am outraged. I would have to agree with Jennifer about the carers assessment, you are putting yourself at risk by lifting your Dad, of course you know that...
My Mum used to have Fortisip drinks and Yoghurts, they come in all different flavours and are basically a food supplement. Basically as time went on, we used to just give her lots of the good stuff she had always enjoyed. Sorry can't be of much help, just wanted to reply, Take good care,
Love and hugs,


Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
Hi Benkimmy,

Three years ago Mary was an emergency admission to hospital having lost 3 stones in as many months and when I questioned the dietitian about what I should give Mary she replied "calories!". It may seem callous but what is the relavance of a healthy diet to some one with Alzheimers? As long as you are doing no harm any food they will eat is fine.

Mary loves bright coloured food regardless of taste so carrots, peppers, rice coloured with saffron or turmeric and even mashed potato mixes with tinned tomatoes goes down well.

I am afraid that you will have to experiment to find the foods that are acceptable but I believe the rule "calories first" is the right road.