Losing weight

Katy44

Registered User
Sep 14, 2004
134
My Grandma is currently in a care home, and is losing weight rapidly.
(She's lost probably over two stone since May and she probably started at a healthy weight)
I know there are a number of links between AD and weight loss, but the more I read these they attribute it to loss of interest in food, and lack of proper meals. My Grandma has proper meals at the home and the staff report she eats well. They have been very good with her, and we have no reason to think this isn't the case. She is going to her GP's later this week about this, but can anyone see what the cause could be in this case? Does anyone have any experience of this?
(I know that a large weight loss is expected in the later stages of the disease - I'm not sure if that's where she's at - she can walk, hold a conversation even if it makes no sese and is continent most of the time)
 

janed

Registered User
Jul 28, 2005
45
cornwall
My mum lost a lot of weight, in the nursing home she was in for a short while they gave her special homemade smoothies, when she came to live with me I started to give her special milkshakes between meals, or as a pudding or meal replacment if she refused to eat, she realy enjoys these , i often serve them in a nice medium sized wineglass as mum likes this as it makes it seem a treat and put in a spoon or straw or even a chocolate flake! she has now put on over 2 stone in 7 months which is excellent I make them in a blender with the following ingredients

fruit tinned or fresh (tinned strawberries in syrup are her favourite!)
full cream milk
full cream yogurt (fruit or plain)
complan origional
honey
ice cream (optional and must be drunk within the hour)

without the icecream they will keep for a day in the fridge but mum prefers different flavours each time!

simply put it all in a blender and whizz up! it can take a bit of trial and error to get the consistency to the way she likes it but they go down a treat!
(and with the kids if there are any leftovers!)

If the nursing home says this is too time consuming for them you could take sone in when you visit or try to get her GP to prescribe Ensure or enlive ready to use cartons of high enrgy drink but they are not as tasty as home made ones!
 

Lady

Registered User
Jul 5, 2005
12
Ireland
Dad had been loseing weight rapidly and his GP prescribed ensure, which comes in different flavours, since we started giving these to dad, and by the way he loves them, the cherry flavour being his favourite, he hasnt put on any weight, but his weight had stayed the same for three months until his stay in respite when he lost almost half a stone. Since we took him home he has put on two pounds,whether from the ensure, or the fact that we monitor his food intake very carefully. The nursing home are continuing to give him his glass of ensure twice daily.
 

Katy44

Registered User
Sep 14, 2004
134
Thank you for your replies. Janed, those smoothies sound delicious - I'd make them for myself but I don't need to put weight on. Hopefully her Gp will recommend using some sort of build up drink, ensure sounds good, which the home will prepare and we can feed her as many of the smoothies as we can. She has (or did have anyway) a really sweet tooth, spo hopefully that shouldn't cause a problem.
I would be curious to know though, why she is losing so much weight when she's eating well. Could it be that she has lost her sweet tooth? Or could it be something medical?
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Katy

how long has your Grandma been at the home?

In the last part of the time when I was caring for Jan at home, she lost loads of weight as she ate very little of what I was making for her.

So when she went into the care home permanently, she was very small. Since then - it has been 4 years now - she has regained some of the weight she once had [she was never huge - size 12]. She eats really well and the food turned out by their kitchen is restaurant standard and balanced. Ensure and such supplements are also available.

It took quite a while for her to adjust to her new circumstances but she slowly began to look much better. Point is, it can take time for the home regime to lock in and do them good.

Final points - Jan's tastes have changed with the dementia.

She would never ever touch bananas but now does so.
She never took sugar in tea but now has the same 2 spoons as me
she never ate yogurt but now does
etc.

Most tastes have remained - cakes, good English meals, desserts.
 

katieberesford

Registered User
May 5, 2005
114
south wales
Weight loss

I am so pleased this subject has been brought up. David has always looked athletic in stature and never needed to diet, but since he was diagnosed in 2002 he has steadily lost about one and a half stone in weight. He really is beginning to look too thin and weighs only 8 stone 12 pounds now. The silly thing is he eats like a horse and always clears every scrap of food on his plate. David's psychiatrist said it is usual and suggested I give David a supplement + his usual meals. David has also developed a very sweet tooth too. Sweets, sugar and cakes etc are eaten with great gusto.

It is a standing joke that everyone should get to the table and fill up their plates before David gets there, as there will be nothing left when he does.

It does sound as though the two things go hand in hand doesn't it.

Katiex
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Hi Katie beresford
When my wife was first diagnosed with AD she put on a lot of weight.
Over 7 years she seems too have settled back to her size 12/14.
However she can move boxes of cakes,sweets and chocolate with no problem.
It seems that no two AD patients are the same some gain weight some lose it.
Regards
Norman
 

katieberesford

Registered User
May 5, 2005
114
south wales
Weight

Hi Norman

Thanks for your post, there's a chance yet then that David might put a bit of weight back on.

Also, belated "Happy Birthday", 21 again eh. Hope you had a lovely day.

Katiex
 

sequoia

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
19
London
Weight loss

My mum had vascular dementia and did lose a lot of weight. She had been quite big (around 11/12 stone) but dropped down quite a bit. She lived with us for two years and seemed to have lost some of her appetite -- maybe it was partially because things tasted different although I didn't think of it at the time nor the other good ideas here ( the smoothies and ensure). I did use to give her Complan though just to make sure that she got a few more vitamins and minerals than from our standard diet. At the same time, there was an initial benefit to her weight loss up to a point, however: having had high blood pressure for 40 odd years, it dropped down to near normal and the doctors were able to reduce her BP medication (although it wasn't stopped).

However, it might also be worth getting your grandma to have a health check up just in case. Some of my mum's weight loss turned out to also be related to an underlying physical problem, other than the VD.

My aunt who has both VD and Ad has also been losing weight so I'm going to use the good suggestions here and will start to make her smoothies (I'm sure she's going to love them!) and to ask her GP for ensure.

Best wishes