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Suitable diet for mum-in-law with dementia & type 2 diabetes

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by AprilJoy, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. AprilJoy

    AprilJoy Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    S Yorkshire
    This forum seems really helpful & supportive so hoping for some help with my mum-in-law, yet to get a diagnosis but she def. has dementia, we'll find out exactly what at next visit to clinic March 10th. She's 86 and lives alone, very confused and seems to be just existing not living. Currently trying to sort out care package for her, we've finally got to the top of the waiting list for the Local Authority's 6 week 're-enablement' package & will probably go with that for now, just to get us onto the Adult Social services radar .
    Main immediate concern is she isn't eating much at all and isn't taking meds for type 2 diabetes, I call twice a day to remind her. She currently has full meals on wheels package delivered daily. She eats the (diabetic option) hot pudding and yoghurt, but that's all she has all day. The hot meal and sandwich go in the bin. She claims to have cornflakes but same box has lasted 4 months. If I take her to local garden centre cafe she woofs down a full breakfast, same if she comes to us for dinner (which is difficult as she goes to bed at 5:30). I'm thinking smaller meals might be easier, if she can be persuaded to have something when we finally get regular health worker visits. She will eat bananas & grapes, I suspect she eats them all at once! Out shopping she'll choose crisps, chocolate, biscuits & scones. I can only get to visit a couple of times a week so I'm fretting the rest of the time. Obviously I will ask same question when we next go to see the diabetes nurse. Any links to helpful sources of info much appreciated
    Thank you!!
  2. brambles

    brambles Registered User

    Sep 22, 2014
    NW England
    Hello AprilJoy and welcome to talking point.

    So sorry to hear about your mum in law.

    My mum lives alone and is borderline diabetic and I have similar problems with her eating. She loves cake, biscuits etc. but rarely remembers to heat up a ready meal.
    I think part of the problem is she just cannot think what to eat, though I do phone several times a day and suggest what she might eat for her next meal.
    ( I do her shopping with her so I know what she has in). It is easier for her to pick a slice of cake which needs no preparing.

    She too will eat a good meal when I go through and either take her out or cook for her and I think having some company whilst eating helps.

    I find that having savoury snack food (sausage rolls, porkpies, cooked ham etc) placed in a prominent position in the fridge will sometimes be eaten instead of the sweet stuff, but to be honest as long as she is eating something I try not to worry too much.

    I hope the diabetic nurse will give you some help and hopefully when she has a care package arranged that will help to make sure she takes her meds.

    best wishes

    brambles x
  3. Oxy

    Oxy Registered User

    Jul 19, 2014
    Difficult situation-feel for you.
    Ensure care package includes DN measuring her blood sugars. Too high/low causes confusion /falls and health ramifications. Diabetes uk have much info and help line that could be useful. Seems she only eats carbs which even if not much could push her too high. Stress/ medications / hot/cold all affect blood sugars too. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off by anyone. If consistently high could also need insulin eventually which just makes everything harder. She may be better off in a good care home that sees she eats a balanced diet (even if not that much) and ensures meds taken and bloods measured. Care package should include enough time to sit with her whilst eating as if left alone you would be back to square one. Good luck with your endeavours to sort things out. Diabetic nurse needs to give you time too.
  4. AprilJoy

    AprilJoy Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    S Yorkshire
    Thanks Brambles, good to know someone else has the same problems. I was thinking along the savoury snacks line too, and we had a lovely lady visit today who runs a small local care company, MiL reI ally took to her, so I'm hopeful we're getting somewhere. We went shopping today and managed to steer her past the biscuits. Left her with a ham and tomato sandwich - we shall see if it's still there next time I call!

  5. AprilJoy

    AprilJoy Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    S Yorkshire
    Thanks Oxy, that's really helpful, you obviously understand my concerns. I'm sure the care home will come at some point, that's going to be a tough one for all of us and I've already thought perhaps respite while we're away might ease MiL (and us) into the idea for the future .
    We're visiting diabetic nurse every 3 months and they seem pretty on the ball, bloods last time were high but lower than time before so we must be getting something right. I will push for more help on the diet and ask about DN visits.
    Had a good meeting with prospective care provider who promises they are not a quick in and out unit - will sit and chat while she eats, which is what she needs.

    I'm feeling much more cheerful and less lonely after the helpful advice and reading other posts here


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