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Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 8:35 PM
Joined: 12/26/2011
Posts: 2

My name is Rob, I am helping my grandfather out with caring for my grandmother who has Alzheimers.
We are blessed that things aren't bad now; with an exception, she is not eating well.  Does anyone have some advice/tricks to help us keep her weight steady.  She lost nearly 15 pounds in the last 5 weeks?
Thank you,

Stephanie Z
Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 10:04 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4218

Hi Rob, you don't say how far advanced her dementia is. Assuming she is in the moderate stage (5 or so) or entering the late stage,  don't be too fussy about what she eats as long as she is not a diabetic. Her taste may be off due to poor oral care, decline in taste buds due to age, effects of medications etc. For this reason you may want to try fresh fruit cut into small bits. (Fruit is one thing that always seems to taste good) You can even make a fruit salad out if it. Serve it cold with a sweet liquid (dilute OJ concentrate with equal amounts of water) Give her a few spoonfuls at a time.

You can also try ensure, applesauce, ice cream, flavored yogurt, jello etc. Don't worry so much about the meat and veggies. If her appetite picks up, add them back.

Also, have someone peek inside her mouth if possible to see if there is a sore spot or problem that can be treated.

If she is sipping water, she probably will sip apple juice or other liquid with the calories she needs.However, if she is choking on liquids, she may need an assessment by a speech therapist to see if she has problems swallowing. If she does, she may need to have thickener added to her liquids.

Hope this helps


Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 10:08 PM
Joined: 12/26/2011
Posts: 30

Hi Rob,  when my mil was not so far along we would make her a milkshake every day and she actually gained a little weight.  we'd put a spoonful of peanut butter in there to add fat and calories.  the above post had many good suggestions but I just thought I'd mention the PB milkshakes.  Not sure what stage she's at or if her tummy can handle them but if she can they work well.
Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 1:14 PM
Joined: 12/26/2011
Posts: 2


Thank you for the quick responses!

Stephanie; she is in stage 5 just like you guessed.

I bought a bunch of fresh fruit today to try the fruit salad idea.  I asked my grandfather if she liked shakes, and he got very excited about the prospect of putting peanut butter in there and helping her get the protein she needs.  



Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 4:21 PM
Joined: 12/24/2011
Posts: 11

Hi Rob,

  Cudos to you first for helping your Grandparents out! Lot of good suggestions here.


 My Mom lost over 50 lbs in a year.  We utilize the protien shakes wherever we can  use it to make oatmeal in the morning instead of water.  also add in a scoop of protien powder.  Not sure who is in charge of preparing meals but for us the meals on wheels program has worked out well.  Takes some of the pressure of my Dad and I figuring out what to feed mom a few times a week.

Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 10:09 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Wow, some great ideas.  I know about protein powder, but forgot about putting peanut butter in shakes.  And NEVER thought about using the ensure kind of stuff in oatmeal.


Thanks so much!