1. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    FIL has been in care home now 4 weeks. He is now refusing all food given and hot drinks. He will only drink fizzy lemonade. Says he wants something sharp! Although he’s ate icecream and chocolate buttons whilst I was there today.

    He was throwing his breakfast away previouslyat home and not eating supper so I presume this is just an extension of this. He’s lost loads of weight and is pretty much uninterested now.

    He’s had blood test done and all ok so no infection. I’ve asked this question once before, and I can’t seem to get it out my head. Why is he not eating?

    I’m 99pc sure it’s not pain, I’ve asked the home to get the doctor in now I’m really worried. I’ve asked them to check for mouth sores, constipation, depression etc - all the usual stuff.

    He doesn’t want to do ANYTHING. As a first, I’ve washed and dressed him today. It’s like he’s given up!

    The managed move in CH was supposed to have assisted in better quality of life and safety and socialisation. None of these have happened and I’m sure the decline would have happened at home but I can’t help feeling like I’ve done the wrong thing and this is all my fault.

    Can anyone relate or advise?
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,008
    N Ireland
    Hello @Lookingafter.

    Your description of eating sweet foods and seeking something sharp is a classic dementia loss of the sense of taste. Sweet and sour are the last things to go in relation to that sense and it produces the classic dementia sweet tooth. Other foods, even old favourites may not taste good to the person

    Maybe you could work with the CH on that as I'd be surprised if they haven't encountered it before.

    The loss of interest may be depression as that's a common bedfellow of dementia. A GP may be able to assist there.
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,008
    N Ireland
    The Society publications list contains Factsheets that may be able to assist you.

    Two Factsheets that relate to your questions can be read if you click the second lines of the links below:-
    Apathy, depression and anxiety (444)
    PDF printable version

    Eating and drinking (511)
    PDF printable version

    The full list of publications can be found if you click the next link
    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

    I hope you get things resolves so that you can both become more settled.
     
  4. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    Thank you! I did read this entire website back in August and just forget to keep coming back here when someone new arises.

    That makes complete sense. You know thinking about it, he lost his younger brother back in June and I’m sure it’s this. I’ll speak to the home about depression. x
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    It is early days. I know it wont feel like that to you, but to hiom it will take a couple of months to settle down. It is also not a magic bullet, so behaviours that were happening at home will continue to occur in the care home and sometimes the move will throw a cruel spotlight onto them.

    Have you spoken to the manager about his eating and asked them what strategies they are using to encourage him to eat? Are they trying different textures/flavours? Often the sense of taste is lost so that highly spiced, sweet or very savoury things taste better to them. Ice cream and chocolate buttons are often favourites. At this stage it is more important to get any sort of food into him rather than worrying about a "balanced" meal, so the care home might provide him with lots of snacks. You can also get meal supplement in the form of drink that the GP has to request, but might help give him more energy.
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,760
    Female
    I agree I would ask the care home what strategies they can use to get him to eat a bit more. My mother lost a lot of weight in the early stages and never regained it, she is now getting towards later stages and is quite underweight but she is happy to eat sweet things like cake and chocolate. She also loves smoothies, because they are sweet. At one stage the CH had her on Ensure type drinks, which she liked.

    As well as the taste issue, I also wonder if he has lost the ability to use a knife and fork, which means he only wants to eat finger food (or the the case of the ice cream, use a spoon).
     
  7. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    Thank you for your replies. The home are trying finger foods but that’s not working either. Carers / FIL and myself had a discussion about his food likes but he just held his head (almost as if the conversation was to much for him).

    They bought out a Sunday pork dinner - he held it and had a fork full of mash and said he’d had enough. He ate half the bowl of strawberry icecream however with a spoon.

    I’ve bought today some of the unhealthiest junk you can find... Doughnuts, battenburg cake, mint matchmakers, wethers soft toffee, winders, malt loaf and marmalade.

    We’ll try ploughing through this.

    I walked him to the toilet yesterday, first time holding his hand I recall, so fragile. Makes me
    so sad.
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,710
    Kent
    Try a tomato sandwich with salt @Lookingafter. I know it`s unlikely your father in law will take it but it will be something both sweet and fresh for his mouth and there`s nothing to lose by trying.
     
  9. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    Brill! He likes (did like) tomatoes!
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,760
    Female
    Little desserts like individual supermarket chocolate mousses are often popular too, if you want to try another (non healthy!) option.

    My mother also likes chips (doubtless with plenty of salt).
     
  11. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    OMG! I am so confused! He’s still not eating (couple of chocolate buttons here and there). He’s completely wasted away. I’ve been advised to ring his GP tomorrow for a DNAR!! His blood pressure is low and he lies in bed all day. Not even the TV on now.

    The home says he has full capacity which I am absolutely astounded by. I suspect there’s more to this than just dementia. Another load of bloods have been done and some medication has been stopped.

    Just waiting for these meal supplement drinks to come.
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) @Lookingafter

    Have you had a chance to talk to the doctor about what is going on? I really do think that you aught to.
     
  13. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    Well - after my short time here at DTP and not giving anything back, sorry. Doctor has been today, and there’s a strong possibility FIL has cancer. Too frail for investigations and FIL has refused more blood work. I’m completely lost. How do I tell his wife in the same room?
     
  14. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    27
    Well FIL passed away today. So much for trying to do the right thing. Thanks again for all your help. Stay strong everyone for looking after your loved ones!! x
     
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    Im so sorry to hear your news @Lookingafter
    He is at peace now - be at peace with yourself too.
     
  16. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    356
    Female
    South East
    i am sorry to hear @Lookingafter ,you done your best for him and mil. Please be kind to yourself .
     
  17. Splashing About

    Splashing About Registered User

    Oct 20, 2019
    138
  18. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,077
    Yorkshire
    sad news @Lookingafter
    and such a shock for you
    be kind to yourself now
     

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