Mom "losing" her appetite

Hi team....

I'm not sure if it's the dementia progressing, but my mom has begun eating like a bird. Always claiming that she's not hungry at meal time---- and talks of vomitting after i get her to eat a lil something - but she never does.

She doesn't even want to eat the thing she loved - cakes - ice cream....... how do i get her to eat?

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My mom got that way too. She lost a lot of weight. A home health nurse told her they might have to tube feed her and also suggested that I give her a 1 a day vitamin and make her milk shakes and add protean to them. The milkshake didn't work for my mom but threatening her with being tube fed and the vitamins seem to be working for now. Her appetite is better. She still doesn't eat much but she does eat which is better than nothing. I just give her several options and let her eat what she wants just as long as she eats something. When she doesn't feel like eating I try to get her to drink insure at least. It was such a battle before that I finally just made up my mind that I wouldn't let it get to me any more. If she eats that's great. But if she doesn't, I just let it go. I try that's all I can do.
It's hard I know.
God bless.

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i don't think that my mom has got to that stage. Luckily she still has a pretty good appetite. She eats good and is always having
snacks. I can only image what you must be going thru but it is the disease. you may find that if you ask her ten minutes from when you last did, that she might be hungry then. My grandmother was like that. I do hope that they do not have to put her on a feeding tube, thank goodness my mom has medical directive and none of us kids would want to have to have one of those. I know that you will do what you think is best for her.

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Thank you both; your words are encouraging - even if i have thought or tried some of your suggestions already.

I try to get her to fight this horrible disease - but my pep talks are short lived :(

I know im looking for an answer that does not exist - it's comforting to know i am not alone.

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My mother also got that way. Not interested in eating.

Any of us could get her to take a bite or two, but rarely a full meal. "Oh, no, I couldn't. If I eat any more I will be ill" (throw up)

Talk with her doctor, perhaps get a referral to a specialist in nutrition. They have all sorts of ideas about how to add calories and nutrition to almost any food. Ensure and similar products come in many flavors. Keep trying different ones and see if she does seem to prefer one over the others.

Make sure there are no mouth issues like poorly fitting dentures, aching teeth, sores or anything else.

Try offering meals in different locations. "Hey, Mom, lets go have some juice and a yogurt out on the patio!" Just having some company while eating can make a difference. Some people need to concentrate on the eating, so talk about the food. Other people need to be distracted, perhaps talk about going on an outing "...right after lunch".

Try offering a lot of smaller meals and snacks throughout the day.

My mother never did have a great sense of smell, and I know that is one of the ways that we 'taste' the food. If it does not smell interesting, it tastes bland, too. Perhaps prepare foods that have more fragrance to them. Something simple like heating almost anything will create more of an aroma. Try microwaving a muffing for 10 seconds. Toast. Home baked cookies (also a good pass-time for Mom, if she is capable of helping)

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My husband loves his food and especially treats, but never initiates getting himself something to eat or asks for something to eat. I sometime wonder if and when and what he would eat if I didn't offer him food. I hope some of the above suggestions work for you keep trying and do what you think is best. It is crazy how dementia affects people so differently.

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thanks Macs...some new ideas to try.....

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Hi alibeanz,

My Mom is like that as well. She is in a nursing home and they give her 3 Ensures a day with her medication. She has always loved chocolate anything all her life, so they make sure they give her the chocolate Ensure. She always manage to drink that before every meal. I would be full after that as well. She does eat a little but not much. I had a care plan meeting last week with the staff and they advised that her protein levels were low due to her not eating much. If Mom starts to loose a lot of weight it could cause problems. Maybe her doctor can give you some suggestions. Best of luck and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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My mom had that problem for awhile. I mentioned it in a previous comment. We determined she was brushing her teeth too much. She would go through a tube of toothpaste in about a week at most. She has always been a stickler about brushing her teeth. Years ago she got on a toothbrushing binge that destroyed her tastebuds. The doctor told her then to stop brushing her teeth so often. It took several days for her tastebuds to come back.

My sisters and I figured that was what was happening now so we hid the toothpaste. She still brushes her teeth a lot but with water only except when we put the toothpaste on her brush.

This isn't to say that is what is happening with your mom and I realize this problem is expected as the disease progresses. Just an idea to consider watching.

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From experience; however I don't know the age of the loved ones, we also had issues when mom lived with her daughter, as with NJJ mom would never ask for anything to drink or to eat (eventually lost her ability to speak), however if wandering and saw food she would eat whatever she could get her hands on. When she went into assisted living, she would eat anything sweet - even take cake from other's plates. After about 1 year, she began the spiral of not swallowing and her food was pureed. She was taking in 25% of what she normally would. This might be a reason to get Hospice now involved for some who have posted. We did not put a feeding tube in, nor an IV and within 90 days she died a natural death. I asked my personal physician about witholding food (a choice we did NOT have to make) and he said it's a very painless way for the patient. Not so easy on the family to watch; however for your loved one who is at stage 7 of the dreadful disease... he assured me, Hospice assured us at the time... she was not in pain. These kind of issues and decisions are so very hard, I wish you the best and my thoughts are with you.

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