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Increased Appetite & Incontinence
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 12:45 AM
Joined: 10/11/2018
Posts: 1

I had learned about Alz Connected for over a year, but I was too emotional to write a post after reading all of the various topics.  
My mother was diagnosed with ES in 2015.  Fast-forward to 2018 her condition worsened and she had to be removed from her home and is now living with me.  We relocated from Texas to California and she has been diagnosed with VD as of March 2019.  Since the move the California, her incontinence has existed for several months.  I have to do laundry daily of all the contents from her bed even though I have a water proof mattress cover and padding while she wears Depends (huge leaks).  Her appetite has increased significantly, which is a major improvement compared to when she didn't have much of an appetite over the years since the initial diagnosis, but her eating habits is out of control.

How can I control the incontinence and the increased appetite? There are days when I give her instructions to put something back (after she had a meal) where she found it or to leave certain things alone, but she completely ignores me and she definitely doesn't have a hearing problem.  Any recommendations would be helpful.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 7:49 AM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 594

I have heard of excessive eating as part of the brain damage associated with AD.  I would do some research + find out whether there are meds that can help with this problem.  Putting food where it is out of sight, or locked up may help in the meantime

Others may have suggestions on containing elimination.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 8:03 AM
Joined: 8/12/2017
Posts: 248

The disease can cause lack of awareness of signals of satiety.  Coupled with the PWD truly forgetting when they last ate, I agree with terei, don't leave food out between meals and snacks.  Maybe even cabinet locks?  My LO would eat to the point of feeling sick if allowed unrestricted access to food, after he lost the ability to track time.  The medication mirtazapine can increase actual feelings of hunger.

You can't control incontinence, but there are plenty of posts here about helping the person manage it, getting on a toileting schedule, etc.

Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 8:34 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1496

There were some foods I had to stop buying because DH would gorge to the point of getting sick. I guess I could have locked them up somewhere, but easier to just not buy. 

Telling them no, giving “instructions” or even telling them that it makes them sick, does not work. It’s a waste of your energy. Their brains are declining, they cannot understand that anymore. It’s not a matter of hearing, it’s that their brain does not work right.

Someone else mentioned the  drug,  mirtazapine, that also hugely increases appetite, just in case that’s involved. (Some facilities give it to residents who need to eat more and may benefit from its other effects)

There are lots of tips here about how to deal better with incontinence, look through both the caregiver and spouses boards.

Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 10:38 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1496

Don’t think that she’s ignoring you. Her brain can no longer process or register what you’re telling her about food, and/or she forgets what you said as soon as she sees something she wants. At any rate, telling her will not work now.
Dreamer Lost
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 11:01 AM
Joined: 3/7/2019
Posts: 456

My DH has gained 20# over the past year partly due to decreased activity and partly due to increased appetite. I also think his anti-depressant increases appetite.  I try to feed him his meals a little more frequently like every 3-4 hrs. apart, sometimes a snack in between if necessary.  He also will eat sweets a lot and will look for them in the pantry.  I try to include low-cal foods such as celery, soup, salads, fresh fruit (cut up) at meal times to help fill him up also a little more fiber and protein.  Also watch fluid intake as thirst can mimic hunger sensations.  It is hard as DH also doesn't remember what he ate, just 5 minutes earlier and he eats so quickly, so then try distracting and finding something else for him to focus on. 

As for the leaking diaper, I have seen other posts for better adult diapers that they buy online when they were having leaks, maybe search some of the other incontinence posts. 

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