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Nutrition and dementia - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

Nutrition and dementia

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
I have had a bug since Friday. In bed most of the time since. Completely off my food. Yesterday I think the sum total of what I ate was one Weetabix and two bits of toast. I have lost a few pounds, but since I am overweight it doesn't matter. A little of what you fancy is the best idea. If an elderly person has poor digestion, their worst nightmare could be a "good"meal, especially with someone watching them. In bed or a chair all day means someone is not going to burn many calories.
I think when people get very old, with or without dementia, and are inevitably within a few years at most of their deaths, then quite frankly they should be able to eat whatever they like!

If you are not active, then yes, you need very little 'fuel', and why not take that in the form that most elderly people like best, which is sweet carbs! Puds, biscuits, cakes, toast, whatever.

Why not?

I don't see that stuffing them with protein and vitamins and fresh veg/fruit - if they don't like it! - is being kind or helpful. If they've got a strong enough constitution to live into extreme old age (say 85 plus), then they won't rely on a balanced diet anyway.

The nurse at my MIL's (92 with dementia) care home was telling me that getting her to eat was difficult, but when I take her out she packs away an entire cream tea (scone laden with jam and cream! - sometimes one and a half scones!), so is clearly keen to eat that kind of food. The trouble is, at care homes I suppose they are under orders to ensure some kind of balanced died, with lots of protein/fresh veg, which I suspect most of the residents don't actually want or enjoy.

My MIL never 'ate greens' (willingly, or at all!), and for her generation greens were usually boiled to death anyway. She's always, like my own dad, preferred puddings and cakes. Meat was often disliked by their generation as again it was usually overcooked (eg, boiled beef, and rock hard lamb chops etc etc).

Obviously, if they enjoy a healthy died, fine, but I don't think they should be plagued or pestered to eat one, if all they really want are sweet carbs.

Just my take!
I completely agree with you, Jenny.
Eating and dementia
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scri ... geNumber=2

Plenty links found on one above for further tips. No need to buy any, enough free ones to keep you going too

x x
Hi just found this forum and feeling very grateful I did! Mum died very suddenly eight months ago and I am now full time carer for my Dad who has Alkzeimers. I'm new to all this cos frankly mum did everything and I had no idea about dads illness. He just had his official diagnosis and so I'm starting to get some information. Ive been trying to do a good job of meeting his needs but was getting worried about his gradual refusal to eat anything other than jam sandwiches and cake. I feel a bit better having read it's quite usual to want only nursery food and relieved to know that even if it's only sweet things at least he is eating :D
Personally, I'd go with whatever he's happiest eating, providing it is 'normal' food of some kind. I dont' see that it matters that much to make him eat greens, etc etc. Sweet carbs is very usual for the elderly, and, after all, most of us would love to just eat sweet carbs (or, indeed, eat ANY sweet carbs, sigh!).

At his age, and in his mental condition why not let him have what enjoyment he can? My 92 y/o MIL with dementia can put away a cream tea like nobodies business, but the care home has to coax her to eat her 'main course'....
Yes, it seems to be very common with people who have dementia, my father was the same. He would occasionally eat a proper meal, but most days he kept going by eating cake and biscuits, washed down with sweet tea. He sometimes enjoyed grapes too, and chocolate. The carers in the home were very good at encouraging him to eat, but didn't worry too much about pushing healthy foods, a pointless exercise when they're in their final stage really. They gave him vitamin supplements, so he ticked over OK.

By the way, apparently the taste buds for sour flavours are the ones that outlast the other tastebuds, hence the reason why many elderly folk crave sweet things in their final stage of life - they need sweeter things to get that sweet hit.

Dad also used to enjoy ice cream, something he'd never liked, years ago.