RSS Feed Print
Getting them to eat!
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 7:16 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Mom had almost all of her breakfast, a good portion of lunch, some yogurt / pudding during the day...water...


But when I got to her room after being at the dentist,. she told me she had a lot to eat for dinner!  Dad said ''no, she didn't...''


Do I have to be there for every meal?  I really am tired...she ate at breakfast what she ate at home, and with my dad...


The doctor / dietician are making sure she gets those high calorie shakes...


but - where did her appetite go?  ergh

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 10:46 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 22

Mommy will also tell me she has eaten lots and is not hungry, so I then "reward" her with a treat because she "ate so well".  I give her a huge bowl of icecream or a banana both of which she loves.  And then at least I know she has eaten something. 


I think she just plain forget that she has not eaten.  This whole thing sucks so much!

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:58 PM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 76

Have noticed in the last week or so that when we ask my mother in law if she is hungry he immedialtely replies..."NO I am not hungry".  Most times she cannot remember what she has ate and at times will even tell you that she has already ate. I am concerned with this.I know this is just part of the disease, but I do not want her to lose nutrients because of not eating a full meal. When she does eat she just picks at the food
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 2:47 AM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 2

Rose, you can only do what you can do. You really have done an outstanding job and it hasn't been an easy road.  But you can't be there every single meal every day. You're going to exhaust yourself. It sounds like she had a good intake that day throughout the course of the day, though I don't doubt that's because you were there.  Please take care of yourself, too. It won't help you to be worried sick about meals as well....hopefully as her meds get back to what they were before her appetite will return....fingers'll get through it, one day at a time.
Stephanie Z
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 4:52 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4218

Rose, If mom is in a nursing home, they should be tracking her weight on a regular basis, probably once a month. If her weight goes down, they will let the doctror know and they should ask for a supplement between meals. If it makes you feel better, ask for a weekly weight and if it goes down, make sure the doctor gets a request for ensure or supplemental snacks.



Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 7:00 AM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 146

There is a appetite enhancing medication that can be given safely and it works.
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 8:42 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3972

Rose, it sounds to me like between breakfast, lunch and the yogurt/pudding your mom is getting plenty of food.  I don't think you need to worry if she doesn't eat dinner after having all that and depending on what time your Mom goes to bed, it may be better that she doesn't eat a large meal at night.  Like Stephanie said, just have the home keep track of your mom's weight.  No need to worry about this at all, IMO.  Try not to cause yourself undue stress.
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 7:51 PM
Joined: 12/23/2011
Posts: 1

I just signed up with alzconnected but I noticed your problem.  If mom likes bacon there are some research being done on aroma therapy.  There is a site if you put in bacon scented sprays and candles.  You spray the room and kitchen early while they are asleep and they wake up hungry due to the smell of bacon in the house.  You can use apple pie or anything to help with the sense of smell to stimulate appetite.  I hope this helps.  Good luck and Merry Christmas


Stellar Daughter-In-Law
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 7:44 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 280

depending on what meds she is taking, maybe they are impacting her appetitem  it was such a relief to us when we started hospice and they told us to let him eat when he wants to and not when he does not want to.  he is actually gaining weight now because if he oes not want dinner at 5 or 6 he will eat two sandwichesat midnight. we have caregivers around the clock who have begun to read th signs of hen he is hungry. i realize not everyone has the ability to be with their adlo 24 7 to check in and see if they want to eat, but i wonder if you can stop think of meals as breakfast, lunch and diner and just offer her fod that she usually enjoys at different times of day.  also, re the mechanics of cutting or using fork vs spoon something that has been addressed... so sorry for all the horrible typeos. glitchesin this new site will not alow me to reposition the cursor to correct mistakes or use poper punctuation. not oing to let that stop me....
Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 4:22 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Thanks all.  I just couldn't read this post again for some time because as you suggest, you can't force them to eat and worrying can make you nuts.


What bothered me was that she wasn't on the meds she was here at home...well, some...once she got back on them, I told myself not to worry any more...


well, not as much!


thanks for the ideas..her nurse asked me what she had to eat the other day, and I told her, and she said, good, then, don't worry.  She's had something to eat, and when you don't get as much exercise, you're not going to be as hungry.


last year, I would never have believed my mom would lose her appetite this way!


She definitely thinks she's eaten when she hasn't.  The ''fill in doctor'' made me a little nervous, because she wants my mom to be eating - but as the nurse who helped me feel better kind of said, sometimes some food  IS enough.


As many of you will get, you want that person you love to be back being that way they used to be!


They weigh my mom every week, I think.  She's lost 2 pounds, but that's not a suprise because she was eating so little.


I put cut up fruit in front of her the other day, and she ate the whole small plate.  She loves her pudding and ice cream, and she does eat some small portions...


She's doing more now, more confident in her therapies, and I think this will help with other things like eating. 


My father and I took her to a separate area to eat yesterday.  She was unhappy with me because I was ''late'' getting back to her.  I feel like she gets this adrenaline rush, and she just needs time to calm down.  She wanted to ''go home.'' 


We took her for a ride around the place in her chair.  I wasn't fond of some of the food in one area, because I know she wouldn't like it much. I had brought some food from home, ran back to get it and heat it up for her.  Small cavatelli pasta with some great tomato sauce (local place), cod....I had planned to bring something like corn (which she likes) but forgot it.  She actually calmed down, ate the fish, and some of the pasta.  She had two helpings of pudding with some fruit (forget which one I brought)....the best was she enjoyed it.


Today was different, she had p/t in the afternoon, family members we didn't get the time to go to the other area, and she wasn't fond of what was served (it was not what I chose on the menu, have to talk to them).  I had an Italian fruitcake cupcake, and I broke it in half (it's large).  She said she didn't want it, but gobbled it up!  I think she liked the taste, and the bright green and red candied fruits.  She was having pudding and ice cream when I was leaving, with my father, with fruit.


I know this stuff is high in some of the ''bad stuff,'' but at least she's getting calories in her.  and she has some appetite.  She eats eggs in the AM, and some oatmeal...


This is a bit selfish, but I am so TIRED of doing these things!  I will do anything to help Mom,  but please!  we were taught to eat what was on our plate!    who IS this woman?!


I just about never complain about a meal...I eat all kinds of foods, have my favorites and dislikes, but respect head gets so confused!  MOM - EAT!  Even my 10 year old niece said to her the other day, YOU HAVE TO EAT!    (in a cute way, and she can get away with it this time)


Thanks for your kind words, I know you know the feeling of being discouraged with what seems should be simple!  EAT, you'll feel better, will have energy!


The doctor really did put too much pressure on, in a way, and the nurse helped.  Which then lets me relax a little, and that helps Mom, I know.


They do give her a supplement.  I mix it in the ice cream sometimes...she doesn't seem to like the taste as much now as she did last week...


me?  if i had to eat it, I'd chug it!  done!



Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 12:16 PM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 146

I had probleems getting mom to eat too.  The first words out her mouth when I pt her plate in front of her was "This is way to much food.  I can't eat all this"She would then take a few bites AND SAY SHE WAS FULL.  This from a woman who can eat 1/2 a large pizza in one sitting.


I tryed something and not only did it work---it is still working.    I put a slightly smaller portion of food on her plate and also gave her A BIGGER plate.  She cleans her plate every night now.  On the occassional night when she still says there is to much food, I just tell her I am counting on left overs for tomorrow night and most olf the time there are no let overs at all.   ps. she  hates left overs.  lol


Anyway, this is what worked for me

Mom's Baby
Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 12:27 PM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 1156

Hercules, I think you're definitely on to something with your method. My  mom says the same thing, "This is too much, I'll never be able to eat all this" when served a plate of food. Your idea of putting small portions on big plates makes perfect sense. I think that they're visually overwhelmed by what appear to be large portions. Making those portions a bit smaller--and more importantly--look smaller make them feel less overwhelmed.


I think another thing to keep in mind is that your loved one may eat a few bites, but he or she will probably forget that they've eaten in an hour or two (maybe less). My mom is always saying she hasn't had breakfast or lunch when she definitely did, so you can always give them many smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones.

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 1:26 PM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1

I read somewhere that serving food on a red plate helps them eat more.  I do that with my MIL who also has trouble with her appetite.   The thing that is so worrisome for us, though is that she's diabetic and on insulin, and thus MUST eat in order to balance her blood sugar.... it's a real problem, isn't it?
Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:41 PM
Joined: 12/31/2011
Posts: 1

JoAnn I have the same exact problem with my mom!  She is a diabetic also and will not eat food of any kind. It is so frustrating that she won't eat. I have tryed baby food, soups, ice cream, yogurt, fresh fruit... I can't get to even drink her Glucerna she says it's poison!  Water is about all she will take willingly
Irma Vep
Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012 12:40 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 6

The trick Hercules talks about also worked with my mother. She lived with my husband and me for about five years, and we finally figured out that she wanted to be able to finish all the food on her plate.


Mom somehow felt that the meal was done when her plate was empty, and she couldn't empty it unless we put small amounts there. She would also protest strongly if we tried to add more food to her plate if she had not asked for it.


My Mom had trouble eating a sandwich cut in just two or four pieces, but she would eat it all if I cut it into about 16 little squares.



It's all trial and error, isn't it?

Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 10:11 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Vloedramp wrote:

Mommy will also tell me she has eaten lots and is not hungry, so I then "reward" her with a treat because she "ate so well".  I give her a huge bowl of icecream or a banana both of which she loves.  And then at least I know she has eaten something. 


I think she just plain forget that she has not eaten.  This whole thing sucks so much!

  Oh, thank you.  Great idea!  My mom loves both also.