Nan won't eat and now weighs 7 stone

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Shannonw, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Shannonw

    Shannonw Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    1
    #1 Shannonw, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    Nan won't eat and now weighs 7 stone.

    Hi,

    My nan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's around 4 years ago. She has lost her appetite and refuses to eat but she was weighed today and weighs 7 stone.

    Any suggestions on getting her to eat something or has anyone else had to deal with this problem?
     
  2. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    Hi,
    Is someone with her to help and encourage her to eat? Does she have any problems with her mouth/throat? Maybe try some soups that she can drink ,ice cream, nutritional drinks. Maybe bloods need to be taken to see if there is a medical problem.
    Best wishes
     
  3. jessiej

    jessiej Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    1
    I have same problem with my mother but difficult to know where to turn for help.
     
  4. Solihull

    Solihull Registered User

    Oct 2, 2014
    97
    West Midlands
    My mum was like this for a long time, she said she had eaten but I knew she hadn't, also she did not drink which is worse. Unfortunately it starts a vicious circle where all they want to do is sleep. My mum was 5 stone when admitted to hospital and totally dehydrated. Unless you live with them and force them to eat and drink-( believe me I tried everything) you will need someone else to take over. My mum is 91 and after a session in hospital we realised she would no longer survive on her own and she is now in a lovely care home and 2 stone heavier in 5 months.
    I hope you find an answer, take care.
    Sue
     
  5. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    4,710
    Wiltshire
    #5 FifiMo, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
    Unfortunately this is not uncommon for someone with Dementia. The first thing I would do is rule out whether there is a physiological reason for her not eating - eg is she having problems swallowing? You can ask for a SALT (Speech and Linguistic Therapist) to do an assessment and they are often very good with giving suggestions as to things you can try. Sadly, the dementia itself is often the cause and that is where the challenge then starts. Is there ANYTHING that she will eat? Forget nutrition and forget calories, these are irrelevant if someone isn't eating - not to put too blunt a point on it but not eating is a life threatening situation. You often find that people with dementia have a preference for sweet foods. Is this the case with your nan? If so then there are things that you can try - rice pudding (load it with cream etc), bread and butter pudding, meringue nests with cream and fruit, ice cream. If you find your nan is living more in the past these days then perhaps some old school favourites might help - eg tapioca, sponge with custard, that kind of thing. An odd thing to try is a McDonalds thick shake - sky high with calories and can be passed off for ice cream! On the savoury side, again think of items which can be loaded with calories. The go to thing is mashed potato and gravy. Add butter, cream and even an egg to the mash! A favourite of my grandfather's was some smoked fish, cooked in milk with a couple of eggs mixed in at the end to make it like scrambled eggs. Another thing to consider is portion sizes. Tiny portions might work better especially if you can persuade her to just have a coupe of spoonfuls. Better if she eats a small amount and can be made a fuss of for doing so, than a large plate of food which overwhelms her before she even starts. You have my sympathies because this is frustrating for all concerned because food is associated with enjoyment and sustenance. Hang in there and persevere. Trial and error is the way to go. Oh, and a word of warning ... if she doesn't eat the tidbits that you buy - don't feel obliged to eat them yourself - not unless you enjoy dieting! How do I know this? i have the teeshirts! LOL

    Fiona
     

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