1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Jean1234

    Jean1234 Registered User

    Mar 19, 2015
    Has anyone else here noticed that their OH table manners have regressed to that of a very young child? The difference being with a child you can say don't do that dear, do it this way while with a PWD if you do that it's liable to end in a shouting match! I'm ignoring it at home but on the odd occasion we are out I do try to stop him cleaning the plate and cup with his finger.
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Apparently he eats nicely at the Day Centre. At home he is a menace who loads food on the knife instead of the fork or uses his fingers, and he takes ages to try and load a minuscule morsel or a single pea onto the fork. I often lose patience and start feeding him. I know I shouldn't but there is only so much faffing around I can stand!
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Apart from breakfast I give John his meals on a tray in front of the TV. Anathema in the past. This allows me to sit in splendour at the table and he can eat as he likes for as long as he likes.
  4. Willow Tree

    Willow Tree Registered User

    Jul 6, 2016
    Hello, Jean1234

    Yes, I think this is all part of loving a PWD. I do think it's helpful to think of it as "child-like" behavior, because it is.

    I think one of the great things dementia has to teach us is how much of our humanity remains, even as things like table manners and conversation fall to the wayside. There's a spark there that's precious, if we can all remember to see it (and it isn't always EASY, LOL).

    Learning to overcome our own embarrassment isn't one of the easier lessons; kudos to you that you still treat him to dinner out; I admire you both!

    Your story's so true; yes, child-like behavior rules more and more. : )

    Willow Tree
  5. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    My husband gets confused by cutlery so I tend to cut things up first and just give him a fork to eat it with. If I didn't he would be putting the knife in his mouth or trying to pick food up with his hands - and he simply doesn't have the co-ordination to cut things up any more. He is quite happy with this arrangement and can feed himself for the most part. The only time I intervene is when he ends up chasing peas around his plate with a fork - at that point I scoop them up for him with a spoon which he then uses to feed himself.

    We are quite relaxed about it and I find, at the moment, this routine works well whether we are at a pop in parlour, restaurant, memory cafe or home.

    The only thing I do struggle with is on the rare occasions (only twice so far) when he decides to remove his partial dentures after eating to inspect them before trying to get them back in his mouth (he gets them back to front, upside down and sideways) so it can take several attempts and is far from discreet!
  6. Jennyc

    Jennyc Registered User

    Oct 3, 2011
    #6 Jennyc, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
    My husband has not been able to co-ordinate a knife and fork for the last year - he is left handed and now only uses that hand to eat food which I cut up into small pieces, with a spoon. He used to lose most of it on to the table but I found these very handy plastic clip on raised rims which make the food fall back on to the plate or into the spoon and save a lot of mess. (Still have to intervene to push food into a convenient position to scoop up.) I took this with us when we went with friends to a pub to have fish and chips which I cut up for him and he managed without too many mishaps. (Mind you, I had to ask for a round plate as they were presented on a rectangular one!) He uses it all the time at home - I sent one with him to the day centre he has just started, but I'm not sure they place it correctly as they say he can't manage his food. I shall have to show them. Must admit we don't eat out much these days, not even at friends, as it has all become so complicated, including worrying about how he will be. I would have posted a photo of the plate rims but can't work out how to do it.
  7. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    My Mum can still use a knife, fork and spoon. My issue is with the size of the pieces she puts in her mouth! I usually just let her get on with it but sometimes I can't stop myself saying 'You are not putting that much in your mouth!' :eek:
  8. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    Dad always had impeccable table manners and this started to slip with loud slurping noises and shovelling food in, that stopped as he declined to be replaced with only using a fork and fingers to now being fed as he loses the what and why.
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Oh yes, I get that too :mad: I have started cutting potatoes into bite sized pieces before roasting, chipping etc. I also tend to go for meals where the meat and veg are already cut up, or ones that like shepherds pie that only need a fork.
  10. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    Oh has not been able to use cutlery properly for about two years. Flat dinner plate became useless as food did not stay on plate and ended up over the side. I found "dementia friendly" plates on line and also those plastic rim attachments. I cut everything up into convenient size pieces which he manages to cope with using a spoon.

    OH has been housebound for years so eating out is non-existent nowadays.

    He has lost so many skills that I would describe him as "like a toddler in reverse".
  11. Zana

    Zana Registered User

    May 12, 2016
    My OH is in early stages but he noticed that he was, in his words 'eating like an animal'

    He was rushing his food and haunching over his plate.

    So we have made sure we have every meal together, I ignore the gravy and sauce stains that seem to spatter every placemat we have (they are all washable) and take a napkin for myself passing him one at the same time.
    I try to stay very relaxed and chatty at mealtimes which slows him down a bit but his manners are bad tonight he got himself a slice of bread and then dipped it in my gravy!
  12. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    I remember when my late Husband could still talk and he suddenly asked 'what do I do with these?' He was looking at his knife and fork. From then on he used a spoon (so did I as I didn't want him to feel awkward). Once the point of not being able to use ANY cutlery was reached I had to feed him. That happened fairly soon after not knowing what a knife and fork were.

    As Carers we have to realise that when brain damage happens there is no turning back. Sometimes lost skills can come and go, but there comes a point when the brain can't 'compute' what utensils are for. We have to accept that.
  13. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    East Sussex
    I've been asking about this, so it's "nice" to know I'm not alone :eek:

    Mum can & does use a knife & fork, but there are times I just have to concentrate on my plate or I'd lose my appetite. I too have forgotten & questined her, which I know I shouldn't, but I'm only human :rolleyes:

    She's much better in company or a restaurant, but awful at home :confused:
  14. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    My aunt kept taking my mother to a restaurant close to the nursing home. It wasn't fast food but wasn't too fancy. I finally put my foot down on the excursions when my aunt told me my mother had gone over to another table and try to take food from other diners' plate.

    When my mother had been herself, she had been very fastidious in all ways.
  15. irismary

    irismary Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    West Midlands
    My husband would never let me see him without his partial denture now he happily takes it out, sucks it clean and puts it back in. Initially put me off my food but its one of those things you get used to. He also put them in the bin once fortunately I realised before it got emptied. He also now eats off his knife, sucks food up and shovels it in.
  16. Alicenutter

    Alicenutter Registered User

    Aug 29, 2015
    Massachusetts USA
    My husband has always had pretty bad table manners, and the only difference now is his complete concentration when he is eating. I think it's one of those things it's probably better to ignore, on a pick-your-battles basis.
  17. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    Salford, Lancashire
    My Mum has always had impecable table manners, so I was a bit taken aback recently when in a restaurant she picked up her lamb shank and started chewing!:eek:. I could see the lady at the next table looking a bit shocked as well. I just asked if she wanted me to take the meat off the bone for her and did so, I think the lady next to use realised what was going on. I think I know why this happened - when we have a chinese takeaway we have barbeque spare ribs - which you have to eat with your hands so Mum was really just doing what she is used to. Solution now is going to be to direct her away from lamb shank when we eat out which is a shame as it's one of her favourites.

    Pales into insignificance when I remember a meal out with a guy I was seeing for all of two months few years ago. We were in quite a nice pub having a meal, I was gathering food onto my fork to eat then looked up - and seeing the face of the guy on the table behind my boyfriend I know my face must have been a picture. I just couldn't believe by new boyfriend - a grown man (early 30s and absolutely no dementia!) - was in a restaurant and had picked up his place and was licking it!:eek::eek:. As I say our relationship didn't last long.
  18. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    North Somerset
    Slightly different but still on the subject of food.on my last visit to CH to see my OH I was stopped by one of the earlier stage residents who told me that she doesn't like my husband. I was a little surprised because normally he is still a gentleman and greatly loved by his carers. She told me that he keeps stealing her food. I mentioned this to his carers and they cheerfully admitted that although he doesn't take food from other residents' plates, he does happily wolf down any biscuits or sweets that anyone may have so have asked them to move other people's goodies if they see him approaching! Eating wise he at worst uses his fingers or at best a spoon.
  19. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Mum does lick around the outside of her hot chocolate mug when we are out, she doesn't want to miss a drop! Fortunately, I don't think she has actually licked her plate when out yet - but I suspect the time will come.

    Another thing she does is pounce on anything that looks a bit like a sweetie, this includes coins, bottle tops, stones . . .
  20. Callandergirl

    Callandergirl Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    My husband opens up the sugar sachets and empties them into his mouth. Worse than that though -one day I caught him drinking out of the milk jug which came with the coffee!!

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