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 Meal Problems 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 26
Post Meal Problems
I feel a bit embarassed posting this as so many of you have more difficult situations than I do at the moment but this meal problem is starting to cast a shadow over every evening. Any suggestions or commiserations would be welcome.

For the past year my husband has started to get more and more picky about what he will eat. At first it was just dinner but now the problem seems to be ocurring at lunch too. At the moment all meats like steaks, stews, roasts, of any type animal are now off limits. He seems to have a chewing problem with them and will chew awhile and then spit out what's in his mouth. He doesn't like chicken. Duck is "too rich". He will eat fish every now and then as long as its sole, nothing else. Shrimp, crabmeat and scallops were once okay but now are nearing the taboo list. A nice salad? "Rabbit food". A quiche? Well you can imagine the response to that. Vegetarian? Well, we'd be limited to potatoes, corn, peas (sometimes) and brussels sprouts. Avocados and artichokes just hit the taboo list as being too sweet. Take out? Mexican food is out. Chinese? Only if I drive thirty miles round trip to a chinese restaurant on St. Armand's Key. The last time I was mad enough to do that he said the food wasn't very good. Our local restaurants all do take-out but when I show him their menus he doesn't like anything.

So I'm cooking out of the miscellaneous section of the cookbook. I've tried offering him a few choices but decisions are too hard for him. Tonight after the usual rope-a dope I said he would have to eat ice cream and a banana (a favorite lunch) and he looked so pitiful I rustled up something he could eat. He is a controlled diabetic so I do have to be careful and I do have some protein shakes in the refrigerator just in case. And I do realize that his medications and the disease may have changed his sense of taste.

This looks like it is turning into a vent so I will wrap it up. But any thoughts are welcome.
Ann


Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Meal Problems
I wish I could help but all I can do is share that we have encountered the same situation. It would seem to be a result of changes in the brain that affect taste and smell. There were foods that my husband loved all his life that he wouldn't tolerate. It was frustrating. I did try to make things more colorful--that seemed to attract his interest. And problems chewing happened along with other muscular problems. And, sometimes, he simply forgets what to do with the food in his mouth. Now, he really doesn't taste anything and doesn't seem to care what it is that goes into his mouth but likes soft-textured foods. He likes liquids, like fruit juice and milk shakes the best.

_________________
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.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:16 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Meal Problems
Ann,
Chewing problems probably is what is going on, does everything seem to be OK with his mouth dental wise and when we hit this food issue I tried finding just a few things that worked and that's what he ate day in and day out. I made many homecooked soups the thicker ones such as beed barley and instead of leaving meat in bite size pieces I shredded it and it seemed to work out better, my hubby ate a lot of meat loaf with gravy, for him gravy was a need and I think it helped him swallow the foods better, I only gave him lightly toasted breads never any untoasted he had a great deal of problem swallowing fresh breads.
Does your hubby seemed to be having a difficult time with swallowing and if so maybe a swallow study is needed !

Good Luck!

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Irene Selak


Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: southern cali
Post Re: Meal Problems
hubby eats almost the same things every day and has for over 2 years.. he loves cheerios and bananas for breakfast.. i can sneak in an egg or pancakes occasionally, but he really would rather have the cheerios.. for lunch tomato and ham sandwich and sometimes cheese, sometimes not... try to mix that up too.. but he smiles a lot more if its his ham and sliced tomatoes... he eats three of four tomatoes a day...

so i gave up trying new stuff... hes happier and im not throwing out as much food... dinner is simple and not a lot of creativity... but it works for us.. and especially for him...

maybe checking to see if its the chewing... or swallowing issue....

hope you can find something that works for you and your hubby..
take care...
cindi

_________________
sole CG for hubby.1st symptoms, 2000, at 55. Diag with AD at 62, LB at 64.. vietnam vet..100% ptsd disability,sprayed with agent orange, which doubled chances for dementia. ER visit 11-13,released to memory care..


Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:02 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 26
Post Re: Meal Problems
Thanks for the responses. As for the chewing and swallowing problems Irene, I've noticed that if he wants to eat something he chews and swallows fine. But I will be on the lookout. And I wish my husband had childhood favorites like Mac n Cheese and meatloaf and gravy. But he spent his childhood in South America (his parents were expats) and though he loves that food and I can cook it, it's just too spicy now. So it looks as if this is another nasty Lewy trick. It did help to know others have experienced it.


Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:58 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:39 am
Posts: 98
Location: Victorville, CA
Post Re: Meal Problems
Ann,
No issue is too anything for this forum and I'm glad you've taken the time to share your concerns. I haven't had this problem yet...well, not so much. John's tastes are changing. He used to like hot wings, now they're too hot, that kind of thing. He also has trouble chewing (dentures Lewy won't let him get used to). You didn't say if he was ambulatory or able to go out now and then. If he is, I would suggest a buffet. Walk along with him and let him pick. See what he eats or likes best, and that's what you can make at home. If he's not able to get out, can he look at recipe books that have lots of pictures? Another alternative, if your community offers one, is a Meals on Wheels program. They are designed for folks who can't get out or tend to things in the kitchen. They are not restricted to low income. If you community has one, you can talk with someone there and request a couple weeks delivery. It's usually a nice variety of things and from that, perhaps he will find something he really enjoys. I've thought of this issue and wondered how I would address it when the time comes. Then I remember how the kids ate when they were babies. Once they graduated from the bottle, they ate rice meal after meal, then moved to rice and peaches, then on and on. We may be going in that direction unfortunately. If you're like most of us, you've taken great pride in serving a variety of things to keep meals interesting for your spouse and your family. With the changes Lewy brings, the adjustment will be on us. Hang in there.

Bless you,
Terri

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Terri, spouse of John, officially DX dementia with Lewy Bodies, June, 2012, cognitive symptoms since 2007, active dreams for years before that.


Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:35 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:30 pm
Posts: 317
Location: southern cali
Post Re: Meal Problems
another thought....

hubby doesnt like food he used to or places he used to enjoy eating. he says wow, they are really slipping.. food tasted terrible... at first i thought it was the meds, interfering with his taste buds..and that could be true...

but now, im also wondering if it could be because hes lost his sense of smell.. and i've heard that plays a huge role in how things taste??

any thoughts??

cindi

_________________
sole CG for hubby.1st symptoms, 2000, at 55. Diag with AD at 62, LB at 64.. vietnam vet..100% ptsd disability,sprayed with agent orange, which doubled chances for dementia. ER visit 11-13,released to memory care..


Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:36 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3327
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Meal Problems
My dad had eating issues too, especially in his last 6 months. Not sure if it was taste or smell or both (they are highly linked as everyone knows) but when his favorite foods "tasted horrible" or "like poison" I knew we were in trouble. His last few months he ate mainly small bits of chocolate, a few bites of ice cream, sometimes a milk shake or Ensure. Once in a while he'd eat some fruit. I was so afraid his teeth would start falling out from lack of healthy foods, but we didn't want him to be forced. It was at the end, we all knew it, so he just ate and drank whatever he wanted no matter how un-nutritious it seemed. And, as hospice is so good about informing people, it is harder on the body to process unwanted unecessary foods towards the end.
If the person is otherwise pretty healthy, figuring out what they DO like and WILL eat is important. I took many a crabcake dinner to my dad and other things he's always loved while he was in the ALF. His likes became fewer, but if we could figure out what he did like at that point in time, the ALF, friends and relatives tried to give him what he wanted so he had at least something in his life to look forward to. Best, 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 Oct 14, 2012 5:44 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Meal Problems
Hi,
I am new to this forum and never posted but read new posts every night. Nothing helps better than hearing other people are going through the same issues and YOU are not the one going crazy.
My mom(who lives with me) has been picky ever since this all started. When she was living with my father they chose to put in a feeding tube because she was only taking a few bites at a time and doing very poorly. My dad tried bringing her take out from a buffet with her favorite foods and she would still only eat like a bird. She has swallowing issues but only with liquids once started on Sinemet. At this point, she is eating pretty much the same thing at all meals every day. Only chicken or fish in the evening but sometimes even that she says is overcooked, undercooked. It is a real challenge and I hope you figure out something he will be happy with. But, after this roller coaster ride I have been on with my mom since she was diagnosed about a year ago, I personally would opt for no feeding tube. Fortunately now, she is at the top of the hill on this coaster. But, I am just waiting for next time I know we take that huge drop down. I hope this helps you and good luck.


Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:45 am
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 6:51 pm
Posts: 60
Post Re: Meal Problems
Hi Ann:

Just a thought here about your husband's eating habits.

My aunt (who does not have LBD and who is in her 80s) told me a couple of months ago that there are some foods she ate years ago that she no longer cares to eat, that her tastes for food have changed. My 78 year old sister-in-law has told me the same thing,but attributes her diet change to how how certain foods affect her intestinal track.

So I'm not sure if it's LBD that is causing your husband's taste changes. It could simply be an age issue.

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Beth


Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:06 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3327
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Meal Problems
LBD does seem to have a pretty profound effect on sense of smell and taste, along with all the other issues. There's a point where I think we have to stop worrying about what the person will eat, if they will eat, and just go with the flow. If my dad wanted a Hershey kiss and 2 bites of ice cream sandwich, I encouraged the CGs at the ALF to give him what he wanted. There was no sense in doing anything that might provoke his rage and at that point, his diet was the least of his problems. I might add, this was a big thing for me because I had tried (like my mother had for many years) to get him to eat more healthily for a long time, to no avail. But with the LBD, he became so combative, depressed, aggitated, etc. that I didn't want what he was eating or how much to be one more thing that set him off. Lynn

_________________
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.


Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:59 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:19 pm
Posts: 27
Post Re: Meal Problems
My dad is gradually cutting out more and more foods but I have given up fighting him about it and instead I have found ways to trick more food into him.
In the mornings he will always eat a yoghurt. He used to eat it straight from the pot so now I pour 2 yoghurts into a bowl and he eats it with no problem although I know he would refuse to eat 2 pots of yoghurt.
He usually only wants soup or sweet food , so I make him vegetable puree soups and add a jar of meat baby food into it to add some calories and protein and also a little milk or cream.
He drinks a pint of milkshake in the afternoon made from milk, icecream and a jar of pureed baby fruit or a banana.
I always put a lot of cream in his coffees to up his calories.
It's got to the stage where I don't worry about his colestrol or sugar levels but just try and make him enjoy what he eats without losing weight. He had lost a lot of weight and since I have been doing this he has put back on 9lbs.
He will still eat things like rice pudding and custard so I mix pureed fruit into with these as well.
In a funny way I enjoy the challenge of looking after Dad and the sense of achievement when I work out different ways of helping him.


Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:25 pm
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