1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    75
    Surrey
    Hi I was wondering if anyone has any experience with weight loss.

    My mother is 86 and has AD & Vascular Dementia, she is was diagnosed last July, although she has been having memory problems for the past 3 years.

    She is now weighs 6st 9lbs having been around the 10st mark 3 years ago, In March 2006 she weighed 8st 4lb, in the past 10 months the weight has fallen off dramatically,
    We are getting worried she does eat at least one very good meal a day as my brother her main carer goes into cook for her & also evidence that she has been eating snacks during the day, she also has a carer 2 days a week who cooks for her.
    Is this weight loss part of this awful disease ?. any help or advice please.
    Kazlou
     
  2. sarahc

    sarahc Registered User

    Apr 4, 2004
    33
    I think weight loss is part of the course. My mother went into her home in 2004 weighing over 8 stone - now she is 7 stone 2 pounds. She can't swallow and eats mashed up food - it is all part of this terrible disease I'm afraid. She is a tiny bird-like figure - nothing like her former self. It is terrible to see.
    Sarah C
     
  3. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    75
    Surrey
    Hi Sarahc
    Thanks for your reply I thought that it might be part of the course with this awful disease, as you say they become so frail, my Mum is just like a little bird now,
    what amazes me is she can eat a huge meal (twice as much as me) and still be losing weight.
    Kazlou
     
  4. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Kazlou,
    Yes, the weight loss is a common feature - despite taking in food the body does not process it properley to extract what it needs. Mum now drinks milk instead of tea (her tastes have changed, and we see it as another way of getting calories); dad takes her a couple of sweets every night and she has had food supplement drinks. Any way we can we get the calories in!
    Love Helen
     
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    yes, my wife Jan also lost weight and dropped to under 7 stone at one stage.

    This was when I was feeding her at home and I thought we were getting it right!

    Since she has lived in her care home, she has put on weight [mostly on her face - her wasted body not so much] as her meals are specially balanced and the care staff do a better job of ensuring she eats as much as possible.
     
  6. ann60

    ann60 Registered User

    Nov 24, 2006
    21
    Australia
    Hi my mum also lost a lot of weight at first but she now seems to have gained some again and like amy has said tastes do change. A friend of mine that worked with dementia patients found that a lot of patients preferred sweeter things. We tried this with my mum as she always drank black tea but stopped wanting it so dad started giving her white tea with a little sugar which she now loves. He also keeps a packet of marshmallows at the nursing home and gives her a couple each visit. ann
     
  7. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    If people are determined not to eat or drink adequately they can be quite cunning with it, messing food around and hiding it so others think they have eaten properly.

    Lila
     
  8. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    75
    Surrey
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.............

    Just got back from taking Mum out for Sunday lunch, she managed a huge roast pork dinner with 4 slices of meat 4 roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots & broccoli, then finished it off with a very large banana split.
    We then went back to her sheltered housing flat when she said she fancied a cup of tea and had two slices of carrot cake, then an hour later we had another cup of tea and she then fancied a toasted teacake !!!! wow I am bursting at the seams, and as we left Mum was happily tucking into a box of chocolates. I don't know why she isn't piling on the pounds, I know I am.
    Thanks
    Kazlou........
     
  9. Susi T

    Susi T Registered User

    Jan 12, 2007
    64
    Leamington Spa
    Hi Kazlou, I have brought this up with my Dad's doctor he has assured me when we get older we lose muscle definition, I was concerned that my Dad was losing weight fast, he eats regularly, not the same volume as he used to.
     
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,669
    Kent
    Isn`t it ironic.
    My mother had a weight problem all her life and was on a `permanent` diet. She always said she wasn`t an envious person, but the one thing she envied was a person who could eat what they wanted without gaining weight.
    Well her time came, but sadly she was unable to appreciate it.
     
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Sylvia - I think you must be channeling me. I was thinking the same thing - mummy's spent her life on a diet, and now all we seem to do is try to stuff her with food like a turkey.

    Jennifer
     
  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    #12 Skye, Jan 14, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
    Hi Sylvia & Jennifer

    I too have battled with my weight all my life, more so now when a box of chocolates is so comforting!

    But AD is now a solution I would wish to try!

    Love,


    Edited for MAJOR typing correction: I meant to say NOT a solution I would wish to try. Hope no-one believed the original post!!!!
     
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #13 Margarita, Jan 15, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
    Thanks for that link Nada as I myself find it hard to balance a healthy diet for myself , let alone for my mother who never showed me how to as I was growing up , mum just gave me her bad habits , oh my mother love a take way , High fat food cooking lard , butter

    But seeing now I have to help her control her diet is so hard , when my mother was caring for herself and I did not know she had AZ , she lost a lot of weight then when I found out that my mother had AZ I thought it was all down to the AZ in mum losing weight , but I was wrong as mum has put on Wight in the last 2 years, since I gave up full time work and became her full time carer .

    I still have to be care full in what she eats as she has high cholesterol and diabetic , then at time I can get very down became very depress go back to old habits from the past and eat all the wrong food just to give me comfort, I am trying to recognize this , so not to be so hard on myself , as I don’t want to give myself high cholesterol as heart attacks dose run on my father size and diabetic on my mother side.

    And its dame hard finding that balance for me , while caring for my mother diet, so that link a great help xx for me and they is TIPS
     
  14. stripedtigger

    stripedtigger Registered User

    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    Lancashire
    #14 stripedtigger, Oct 29, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
    Dad's been in hospital for nearly 5 months now....initially admitted with what was suspected to have been a nasty water infection...he eventually got over this only to get another water infection just prior to point of discharge - this turned out to be E-coli....swiftly followed by dad contracting C-Diff.

    While they now tell us that the C-Diff has gone, the constant-ish diarohhea has returned and dad has now for some weeks been passing mainly undigested food, foul smelling discharges with liquid motions.....which I would describe as diarrohea and containing mostly undigested food.

    Dad eats (when fed ) almost all foods the hospital provides, he has been reliant on mum feeding him for 10 months or so now...... however, the weight is still dropping off him at a rate.....since late June07 when admitted he was about 12.5st.....now down (estimation as they don't/won't weigh him) to approx 6.5 - 7 st....almost like concentration camp survivor). Initially this was almost understandable. Dad had lost mobility whilst at home and as such had put on weight from how he was prior to the onset of the alzheimers (I suppose I should also add at this point that dad is rather young, he was 61 on Sun 28th Oct and as such is classed at times as having early onset alzheimers). Being hospitalised in late June with the water infection which really floored him meant he seemed to loose the ability to weight bear well enough to walk unaided - truthfully speaking he seemed to decline really quickly and initially weight loss started here. This added to the fact he was bed bound for 6 - 8 weeks would all have an impact however, we have had spells since where he has been out of bed on his feet with the aid of the physio's and a zimmer frame however these times have been short lived with dad now back in bed pertially due to the diarrohea however, the weight still continues to drop off him. It's almost as if his body is now starting to fail him and whilst mum is feeding dad it seems to come back out in much the same condition in which she spooned it in.

    Is this normal with Alzheimers or is something more sinister at work here - the hosp just blame most things on the dementia? To cap it all heart probs have now surfaced and hosp want to fit a pacemaker....however, cant fit it currently due to constant infections....feel like hosp written dad off as hopeless case not worth time/effort to investigate....am I being too negative here or is this common too?

    All replies most gratefully received.

    thanks
     
  15. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Kazlou,

    I'd actually be wondering if she has a problem with her thyroid gland. To be stuffing away a full roast dinner and all the rest is something I certainly can't do.

    May be worth checking out. I'm glad she has a good appetite, but if she is getting thinner, it could be a thyroid malfunction, which is easily checked and easily resolved as a rule.

    Margaret
     
  16. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    342
    Hello striped tigger

    Our Mum has just come out of hospital similar to your Dad.

    The diarrhoea has stopped now (we hope) but the only thing we could do was give her the usual protein drinks (in cartons - milk or fruit style) These didn't seem to pass through quite so quickly.
    We haven't been able to get her to gain weight but at least she's not losing it at present.

    Dehydration also needs to be considered - they not only lose food but an awful lot of water - can't remember what percentage but an awful lot of our bodies are made up of H2O - and if cells lose liquid the body also drops weight at an alarming rate (hence the success of any fad modern diet in the first couple of weeks !!)

    Our Doc also recommended probiotic drinks and yoghurts - just to settle the bacteria in the gut - these of course are also quite nourishing. Worth a try ?

    Best of luck
    germain
     

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