• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

My mother is constantly worried about her meals

JudithM

New member
Aug 11, 2020
3
My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers a couple of years ago but has deteriorated greatly over the last few months. I visit and stay over each week and a carer sleeps in the rest of the time and pops round (she's a neighbour) to give her meals and tea/coffee during the day. Mum rings me about 4 times a day saying she has no food and does not know where her next meal is coming from. I've have been getting the carer to video chat with me at lunchtime so I can remind her of her lunch but nothing seems to lessen the anxiety. she has also started telling people (the district nurse yesterday) that she has no daughter/I've disowned her etc) and no-one come and cares for her. She says my husband has left me (not true) and a friend who visits often has moved away (not true). Any ideas on how to lessen her anxiety about food and people?
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
685
All the behaviours are what you can expect to see as the disease progresses I’m afraid.

Get her checked for a urine infection ?

Request a medication review, and see if the doctor has any suggestions for medication improvements ?

Does she prepare her own food ?
who does her shopping?

 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,675
South coast
Hello @JudithM and welcome to DTP.

If this is a sudden change then it is worth getting her checked for an infection, but if it has been coming on gradually for the past couple of weeks or so, then I suspect that it is the progression of her dementia.

People with dementia get to the stage when their memory is so poor that they can only remember things for a minute or two. When they get to this stage and they are on their own, they cannot remember how long they have been on their own, how long it will be before anyone comes back, where they are, what has happened to everyone or anything. All they know is that they are on their own and are lost and frightened. The stories that your mum is making up are called confabulations and are the result of the sub-conscious brain trying to make sense of the situation and filling in the gaps in the memory. She will be certain that the things she says are absolutely true.

When they get to this stage they want to be able to see someone 24/7 and will follow people around to keep them in their sight (called shadowing). Your mum neighbour is wonderful - not many people would do as she is doing, but nevertheless I expect that there are times (perhaps several hours) in the day when she is on her own. You can get medication to lessen the anxiety and it is worth speaking to the GP about this, but do remember that the underlying cause is that she now needs someone with her 24/7
 

JudithM

New member
Aug 11, 2020
3
thank you both. The neighbour/carer prepares her food and either I or she does her shopping. She does have frequent UTIs but is currently at the end of an antibiotic so I don't think it's that, and it's been coming on for months now.. the " she now needs someone with her 24/7 " is a bit scary - that would normally indicate a care home? she is nearly 98 and has lived in her home for the last 75 years and I'm afraid a care home might be a huge wrench for her..... I'll talk to the GP about anxiety meds.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
507
thank you both. The neighbour/carer prepares her food and either I or she does her shopping. She does have frequent UTIs but is currently at the end of an antibiotic so I don't think it's that, and it's been coming on for months now.. the " she now needs someone with her 24/7 " is a bit scary - that would normally indicate a care home? she is nearly 98 and has lived in her home for the last 75 years and I'm afraid a care home might be a huge wrench for her..... I'll talk to the GP about anxiety meds.
My dad, who is in care, was the same. He told social services he was fine for food and made out like he was cooking (at this point he'd even given up on making toast). But he told me and others, anyone who would listen really, that he hadn't had anything to eat. When he went into care at least I knew for a fact he was being fed regularly, and there's always someone there even if he gets up 'for breakfast' in the middle of the night!
He's adjusted to the home much better than I thought and it's a relief to me that he's well looked after by paid people with experience.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
685
I have used this with success, but not with dementia, which always writes its own rules.

Take a photo of the contents of the fridge.
( stuffed to the brim, not on an old mother Hubbard day!)
Email it to a friend who works in an office.
Get it printed A3 size and laminated.
Stick it on the fridge.

Make up a reason it is on the fridge ( nothing to do with her) ‘ I want the photo it helps me remember what to write on the shopping list’?

It may well not work, but I personally Enjoy trying and failing! ( At least I think I do, I certainly do it enough!!!!)