My mother eats less and less... anyone know why? Is this typical?

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wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/17/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   

 

  Hello Everyone,

  Mother is 85 and has had dementia or alzheimer's for over

  six years.  The problem is that she eats less and less and

  will only eat certain things.  Is this typical of someone

  with this disease?  She also sleeps  a lot too.  Does this

  go along with it?  Used to get her different high calorie

  vitamin drinks, malts, etc. but that only lasted so long

  until she tired of them.  Now, just get her what we

  know she will eat.  For while now, it has been those

  snack packs of cheese crackers with peanut butter inside.

  And that's about all she will eat, except chocolate.. she still

  loves her chocolate.  (me, too... must have gotten it from

  her :-)  Mom and Dad were married almost 25 years when

  he died during surgery.  At the time, I was 24 and married,

 my brother was 19 and we had a younger sister who was

 nine.  Although mother never married again, she did finally

 meet someone and they went together for about twenty

 years, then he eventually passed away.  Before mother

 became ill, she would tell me if I would stop in around 

 March 6th, that was the day that her and dad had gotten

 married back in 1943.  But now, we show her pictures of

  dad and she has no idea who he is at all.

 Yet, she can remember his mother.  Of course, Dad

 has been gone a long time now... but it's strange to

 my brother and I that she has no memory of him at all.

 We know that this goes along with the disease, yet it is

 still sad.  Mother was always so independent and such

 a hard worker all of her life and very clean with her home

 and herself.  Now, if she hasn't had a bath for two

 weeks, she thinks she had one yesterday.  She has always

  been the kind of person who did not like having someone

 tell them what to do, so she will argue  brother  if he tries

 to push her to eat, etc. But mostly she is in a good mood.

 She really doesn't know what Christmas is or the other

 holidays and if we tell her she will remember, but then

 she forgets pretty quickly.  It seems like she remembers

 her childhood and the people and things that happened

 back then,but can't remember hardly anything about

 being married and raising my brother and sister and I

 and helping out with the grandchildren until they were

 pretty well grown. She hardly has any recollection of it at all.

 Has anyone found any kind of vitamins that help.  She takes

 the one medication that is supposed to help her memory

 and I really believe that it has helped to slow the progression

 down and we are very grateful for that.  I just wondered

 if there might be something else out there that we don't know

 about.

 

 Happy New Year To All,  Wiggyann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 1/17/2009 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Before my Gma was officially diagnosed there was a time that me and the hubby had to leave for a day to take care of business. I left some food for her to eat. When I got home, I found that she only took two bites of it and she told me that she ate what she could. So I think that if it was left up to her that she would either forget to eat or just not want to. I do believe that these food issues come with either age or the disease. I know now she eats only because that is the main rule of the assisted living center she is in; to eat 3 meals a day. But before then she wouldn't eat a whole lot or she would hoard food in her room but not eat it.
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Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/17/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree the food intake is totaly different with this DD
I know my dad was not wanting to eat and he loved his food
Mom ate like a chicken and would tell us" oh ya I ate" ya right she had fed it too the dog

Maybe if you can get the doc to order some Ensure it will at least keep her body in more of a balance with potassium and other vitamins needed

Keep us posted plz

LYN


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 1/18/2009 1:06:01 PM (GMT-7)


lynnie771
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/17/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
my partner also went through an "i don't like this stage".....a friend of mine who works with special needs kids gave me some flashcard type things with pictures of food on it so she would pick which foods she would eat for that meal....she would sometimes only eat a few bites but she liked playing different games with the cards and looked forward to it before meals....
eventually that wore out as well but it worked and helped for awhile.......

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/18/2009 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
That is a great idea even if it only worked for awhile Lynnie

Supplements like Ensure would be an idea to pass by your doc IMHO

LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/18/2009 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Many Thanks to Red, Lyn and Lynnie for your help. We have been the insure route until mother would not drink anymore of it, but we know it helped her when she did drink it. I guess there are no easy answers.
Actually, over a period of about three years we watched her go from 84 pounds up to 90 lbs eating mostly snack foods because that is all she would eat most of the time, so I guess that's not too bad. We were amazed one day when she stepped on the scale and it registered 90.
because we couldn't tell that she had gained any weight. I'm not sure what she weighs now, but she hardly eats much of anything. This is still so different for us even though it's been over six years now. No one in our family has had anything like this before on either side. And both of mother's sisters are fine. I guess i just don't understand.

Thanks for bearing with me...
Wiggyann

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/19/2009 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
WE are with you all the way my friend
If he likes Peanut butter she will get good nutrients from that as well as potassium from bananas

I do hope you find a way about this
My Mom weighed 65 lbs at time of death.........
Really scary it was.........

You can do many things with ensure to see if she will take to it again like milkshakes and such

Luvs
LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/20/2009 1:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Dear Lyn,

May I ask how old your mother was when she passed away and how long she had been ill with alzheimer's?

Also, did anyone else in your family ever have this disease?

Bless you, dear lady
Wiggyann

leangreencafe
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/21/2009 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello-
My father just passed in December at 86. He had Vascular Dementia. My Mom is 76, and is happy as a child, with mid-stage Alzheimers. Our unresolved issues just had to be shelved. End of story.
I have several good articles about certain nutrients and blood levels that pertain to optimal health for the elderly with dementias.
I'll paste part of one below.
I'm blogging now. I'll share the sites. I have info on there also, and will continue to post.
www.leangreencafe.blogspot.com
www.ladyofthelake-vernonialake.blogspot.com

Enjoy and feel free to comment.

I like certain multivitamins and natural supplements because they are proven to get into the bloodstream quickly. (Bioavailable.) I like a tiny probiotic that really helps with indigestion and the immune system. Makes life easier.

What is important to us, as we strive to keep our parents alive, may no longer be important to them. It takes some juggling to interest someone in food with cachexia, for instance, as we never know what types of diseases they really have sometimes, and dementias. My father would wait till I left the room and pour his water into my plants. I would have to sit there to make sure he was 'hydrated'. (There is a great drink that hydrates people, with electrolytes and potassium-rich with juice. )If I was to go downstairs, his footsteps would quickly head for the ice cream in the fridge, or the graham crackers, or the strawberry freezer jam (1/2 a pint by spoon) with dollops of powdered sugar set out for waffles.
I made two video tapes of him to share with my siblings when he was gone, to answer some of the questions they could have about his history, and thus, theirs. We briefly laughed about the ice cream in one of the videos. If I left bananas out, he would forget he had one, and sometimes could scarf 3 down. I worried about the opposite sometimes-him gaining such a paunch that I would have a harder time showering him, etc. He loved my cooking. The smells helped his appetite.

I like certain meal shakes, without any artificial sweeteners, colors or flavorings. There are cocoa and vanilla ones that even my grandkids liked. You can add strawberries to the vanilla, especially frozen ones, and peanut or almond or cashew butter to the cocoa ones. I like certain soy protein drinks, non-GMO, lightly cooked to take out the thyroid harming part, 50% calcium added for bone density and to neutralize the acidity of soy. I have some great smoothie recipes.

Snack plates of fruit, cheeses, cream cheese on soft bagels, graham crackers w/ nut butter, cream cheese, or a treat w/ frosting. Snack or protein bars cut up in cubes for tooth-challenged folks. Hummus w/ crackers, cucumbers and soft pita bread. There are some great recipes for hummus, that use varied foods and spices, etc.

Well, I'm writing another book. I tend to do that. Enjoy this blurb from an article.

Elevated levels of homocysteine is an indication of inadequate folate and
vitamin B-12 in the diet, writes lead author Giovanni Ravaglia, a researcher
with University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi in <st1:place><st1:City>Bologna</st1:City>,
<st1:country-region>Italy</st1:country-region></st1:place>. His paper appears
in the March American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.



In their study, researchers tested the blood of 650 elderly Italians -- with no
signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease -- looking at levels of folate and
vitamin B-12. They also asked about other dietary factors such as coffee, wine,
and liquor consumption and about physical activity.



Researchers found that those with lower scores on tests of thinking ability had
high levels of homocysteine. They found the same association even after taking
into account other risk factors for dementia, including age, socioeconomic
status, and risk factors for heart disease.



Some study participants may have early or very mild cognitive impairment,
especially those whose scores on the tests were low. People with early dementia
often perform within normal limits on cognitive tests, Ravaglia writes.



Though nutritional deficiencies can be the cause, some medications like the
seizure drug Dilantin can elevate homocysteine levels in the blood. Kidney
disease, alcohol use, and too little physical activity can also elevate
homocysteine.



High homocysteine levels can be treated very easily with vitamins, including
folate, niacin, and B-12. Cereals are now fortified with folate, niacin is
found in fresh fruits, and B-12 is in red meat. <o:p></o:p></p>

Personally, I'm a bit picky when it comes to my parents, or family and vitamins. A good BComplex can do wonders. I would never recommend taking a B vitamin in a high dose, by itself, for instance. You can deplete the others. Alfalfa leafies in a tablet or tea can aid arthritis pain for them. Hope this helps.

** I removed your email and blog for security and safety reasons
PPL can get in touch with you thru email at side as long as you have it posted
PPL that are not members can get all info from your posts that is why it is not good to insert emails and personal info in posts
 
Email me if you have any questions
LYN

Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 1/24/2009 4:20:34 PM (GMT-7)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/24/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Mom was 70 and Dad 74
Mom had been sick for a few yrs dad fell sick just after Mom passed he diesd almost 2 yrs to the day of her death
I also believe it was partially of a broken heart
THEY had a very special love

Luvs
LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


sophie jean
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/25/2009 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey! I have worked in Long Term Care / Skilled Nursing for over 6 years. I am not a nurse, but have and do attend workshops, educational meetings, and so on about Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately with this disease, our loved ones are robbed of their memories and often revert back to their childhood. I have learned that often times a patient suffering with this disease usually "forgets" their children before their spouse because of the regression back into their younger days. We have patients varying in ages from 80 all the way to 102 that still want us to "call" their mother on a daily basis. When dealing with a patient suffering in this way, it is always best to "enter their world" when you are around them. Always approach from the side, never from the front because this causes the patient to feel threatened. You may already know this, but it is amazing that an Alzheimers patient can remember how they "feel" around a certain person, but not specifically who that person is or was to them! As far as the sleeping, eating, and not bathing goes, that is genuinly just the progression of the disease. That is very common. More often than not, Alzheimers patients will need Speech Therapy to help with their swallowing because of the progression of Alzheimers. Speech Therapy is not limited to "Dysphagia" or swallowing, they also help with the loss of cognitive ability that tells a person that they are hungry and also how to put fork to plate and then to mouth with food. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I really have learned so much about this heartbreaking disease and I deal with it everyday.

CharleyRice1931
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 1/25/2009 4:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Not only Alzheimer's victims return to the past. In the winter of our years when there is little left to look forward to in a strange world we tend to find peace in a place and time we are familiar with i. e. childhood. I'm in my 78th year which has given me an advantage over younger people caring for their loved ones. I was also fortunate to be fit enough to provide the best care possible for my wife, ie 24/7 365 days a year for four years and eight months in our home until she passed away. The pain and hurt I endured in the early years was due to the treatment my wife was receiving before and after I placed her in a NH.
It comes as no surprise that I now fear ever being 'put away' and should I ever have the misfortune to end up with AD, you bet I'll fight anyone that tries to take away control of my life. To have taken my wife from the NH, stopping all medication, with the exception of liquid paracetamol and caring alone I managed to undo the damage inflicted by people that should have known better. Two weeks ago the Royal College of Psychiatrists stated that certain medications administered to AD patients shortened lives. My wife was walking and talking up to the time she had a fall that resulted in her having to go into hospital. She came out a month later in a wheelchair and with little speech. Much later I learned they had administered drugs to keep her calm!! She was a quiet gentle person. By the time I got her home she had pressure sores all over, even on a heel, she was less than 80lbs, not eating etc. Yes she regressed to being a child and like any child was well aware of those around with compassion and love. I could go on and on but I'm entering that stage in my book about our experiences with with this DD. It has left me so scared that I'm still out running six miles every morning and other heavy exercises to keep and well from becoming ill. The final years caring alone were a real joy for me and I believe also my wife as she regained weight and health.
May your God go with you. Padraig

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/25/2009 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
So great to see you G Padraig
been thinking of you so much
I know that Christmas had to be tough
Ot was hard for me as well...............
On my BD I was kinda expecting to hear dad calling saying "Happy Birhtday my pet" but alas there must not be phones in Heaven
I am really having a mich harder time with his passing then I am with Moms
Though I loved them equally I cannot figure whats going on
Part of me still does not accept she is gone and I will never see or hear her ever again well not till my time comes

Butterfly kisses and God Bless
and thanks for input
You are a very wise man my mentor..........Luvs...........LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


Erin01
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/5/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wiggyann
Is your mother on any medication that can reduce appetite? It might be worth checking everything out on the internet. My mum has quite severe arthritis as well as AD and for a time she was prescribed Codeine and Paracetamol. Almost overnight she lost her appetite and became constipated. We then treated the constipation and she had diarrhoea... This went on for a couple of weeks when I told the doctor I couldn't continue with the tablets as I thought they were affecting her. He denied it, but of course I went on the internet and found it's a well known side effect. She was then given a pain killing patch which worked well.
 
It took weeks to get Mum's appetite back but she gradually began eating again to the extent that some days she had three breakfasts and two lunches because she'd forgotten she'd eaten! Unfortunately the disease takes its toll and as she has got worse her appetite has decreased and she's now very thin, but like your Mum she still enjoys chocolate!
 
You mentioned that she can't remember her husband. A few months ago mum kept asking why her husband hadn't been to see her in hospital. I gently told her he'd died in 1990, to which she replied, 'No not that one, the other one!' I said 'There isn't another one, you were only married once'. And she was quite insistent that even if she hadn't married, that she'd lived with someone, who must be away on business. I asked if he wouldn't be retired and she snorted and said 'Of course not, he's only 60!' I was laughing so much I couldn't manage to say but mum you're 92!!
 
Sometimes you have to laugh, it makes it a bit more bearable!
 
Erin
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