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 Mom is not eating or drinking 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:52 pm
Posts: 19
Post Mom is not eating or drinking
My mother spends most of her week at the nursing home but on my days off and sometimes on Sunday I bring her home. They say she is eating fine but what I see has me concerned. I fixed her a sandwich for lunch and it is 3:30 and she is still holding her sandwich in her hand. She drinks very little also. She just completed a round of anti-biotics for a UTI. Is there something I can do to encourage her to eat and drink more? I have been offering her little things to eat or drink off and on through the day. So far she has eaten a little cheese and drank about 1/2 a glass of diet pop. When I ask her if she wants something else she cannot tell me. She just laughs at me.


Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Sometimes ice cream is the only thing they will eat. Fortunately, it is high in calories. As you know, Diet pop won't do anything for her.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
People with dementia often forget how to eat. My father also was unclear on the concept of lifting a sandwich to his mouth and taking a bit. I hired caregivers to feed my father for over a year.

Why don't you try feeding her and seeing if that helps? You might sit down next to her and have a plate of food for yourself. That way you are eating together.

I would try to go to the care facility at the end of a meal and see for yourself how much of her plate she has consumed.


Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:59 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3432
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Do you have an idea from the drs. and nurses what stage your mom is in? My dad's eating decreased gradually over the last 2 or 3 years, but from summer 2010 till he died in late Nov. he barely ate anything. He needed someone else to feed him for about the last 6 mo. of life. As they shut down, their bodies apparently can't process food well and they just aren't interested. According to hospice, trying to make them eat or drink is not good for them in the end stages.
On the other hand, my dad ate a big breakfast the day he died. Go figure. He probably ate more at that meal than he'd eaten in a month all together! Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:33 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:44 am
Posts: 93
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
My husband also will eat very little if left to feed himself. I always try to feed him as he eats so much more. I agree that eating with your mom, might help.


Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:50 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Ice cream with a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast and enough milk to thin it down a bit and mixed in a blender is something Coy will eat when he has been sick or is feeling weak for any reason and is less interested in food.

Is your mother declining in other ways? I wonder if this is a temporary setback because of the uti.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:52 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
I REALLY don't know if she is declining. I have only had charge of her care since November 14, 2010. I have not asked what stage of LBD she is in. I moved her from a facility in Minnesota.

Like I wrote in the above post. I bring her home about once a week. She seems to enjoy just being out for a few hours.

I think she will eat the ice cream. I will try that AND I could go in the middle of the week and take her a shake then too. I usually do eat with her but last Friday I was waiting for my husband and he was late. I try to offer meals at the same time as the nursing home. I am also trying to offer her foods that I think she will remember liking. One year when she was still in Minnesota I ordered a pizza and had it delivered to her room for Mother's Day.LOL That was a big success. Of course then I didn't even know about LBD.


Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3432
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Have you talked with someone knowledgeable about LBD and other neurodegenerative diseases who might be able to take an educated guess at what stage she is in? Would that be helpful to you? Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:33 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
A local support group member tells a funny story of his wife not seeming to know how to put a fork to the plate and then to her mouth to eat. But when a bowl of ice cream and spoon were placed in front of her, she had no problem remembering!


Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:35 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Redlinda, the NH says she is eating fine. Has her weight been stable?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:46 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:52 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Yes the NH say she is eating fine. But when I have her at home she barely touches anything I give her. She hides her food in her chair (I offer something small a cookie, a piece of cheese, a small glass of tea or pop or milk). She got interested in a cooking show and really lit up over a rootbear float. THAT will be what she gets on Saturday this week. LOL

My concern is she WILL loose weight at this rate. AND she just doesn't drink enough. Her urine is so strong smelling. She just got over a UTI.

I might be fussing. Like I said I am new at this and I want to do it right.


Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:45 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
It is OK to fuss. She is your mother!

Any kind of an ailment -- UTI, sore throat, constipation, ear infection, pretty much anything at all -- can bring about a temporary decline for LBD patients. Maybe forgetting how to eat a sandwhich is part of the UTI aftermath, and when she is fully recovered from that she will be able to eat better, too.

I would think that if this has been going on several weeks consistently at your home and in the NH it would already have an impact on her weight. If she is hiding her food at the NH, it might be the cleaning folks who know the real answer to whether she is eating fine. :lol:

Fluids are the most concerning, I would think. Root beer floats and milks shakes sound like a good approach.

When she is home with you, you probably see her more continuously than they do at the NH. Keep monitoring this, at home and in the NH. You are her advocate.

Welcome to the world of LBD caregiving. None of us want to be here, but since we are, it is good not to be alone. Keep us posted on how progress with Mom.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:14 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
Redlinda,
Perhaps your Mom needs more coaxing, I had to do that for every meal.I had to sit with him throughout the meal! I hope she doesn't start to lose weight !

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Irene Selak


Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:08 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 57
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
My mother was in an ALF for a couple of years. Over that period, the most important thing for me to watch was her hydration or lack there of. I remember practically yelling at the staff on the phone saying " well have you given her anything to drink? Are you sure she is drinking it? She got the flu there and as I took her to the hospital she practically jumped out of the car and had a major case of the eeby- jeebies as I call it. It was horrible. I had a real glimse of what I thought was to come. The emergency doctor looked at me and said "Is she always like this?" You should have seen us in the waiting room of the ER. Very stressful! Make sure your lO gets plenty of fluid, find a way. If they totally resist all effort to drink this may be a sign that you are at the end. Offer it, keep offering but if they totally wont take it, what can you do? My Mom loved icecream up until the end! Sharon E.


Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:05 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3432
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom is not eating or drinking
So did my dad, Sharon. I fed him some icecream the last time I saw him, which was 4 days before he died. He ate about 1 1/2 of those little Dixie cups that morning. When we were cleaning out his room, I found that remaining 1/2 Dixie cup in the freezer and just "lost it". It's amazing how a little thing like that can just bring us to sobbing. Ice cream was the one thing he almost always ate even when everything else tasted bad to him. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:56 pm
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