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Old 02-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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Question Need Some Input On This One

My hubby is in what I think is stage 6. It is really hard for me to know for sure, as some days are not so bad and other days are absolutely hell. I can't say that we ever have what I would call a good day. Everything agitates him and nothing I say or do pleases him. This takes me to my question. He has always liked my cooking and I cook good meals for him, you know meat, potatoes and vegies every night. I have noticed that he complains about the meat even though we are able to cut it with a fork he says it is tough. He sometimes spits it out even. We never were big on hot dishes but now I think because of the consistency he really likes them. He doesn't have to chew. I watch him eat his vegetables and he litterly scoops them into his mouth with very little chewing. Is this something that is common with Alzheimer's??? He is big on ice cream but has been since early into this disease. Oatmeal for breakfast is a big hit also. I might add that he wants to eat all the time. He starts looking for dinner anywhere from three o'clock on!

I would appreciate any feedback on this subject.

Thanks,
Jan

 
Old 02-04-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

Jan-
My guess is he is probably having trouble chewing.
I notice when I bring a piece of chocolate to my
husband (stage 5/6) chewing is begining to be a
problem. I have to remind him that he can let it
melt in his mouth.
I know this is not what you asked but have you
considered placing him in a residential setting?
After almost 8 years of watching my husband
deteriorate I finally (last August) placed him.
I honestly think he is better off and I know I am.
I don't think I recognized the toll it was taking
on me emotionally to say nothing of physically.
Now I see him almost everyday for about a half
hour (sometimes longer). Frankly I suspect the
visits mean more to me than to him.
If you haven't already look into this.
Beatrice

 
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:02 PM   #3
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

Unfortunately, as part of the deterioration, so does their appetite.

It appears to be a common trend that chewing becomes more and more difficult because a) they forget to chew b) forget they were chewing and c) get impatient, that they still have to chew!!

Soft foods are much more tolerable, involve little or no chewing, and get the job done. Beef/Lamb/Venision/chicken/turkey Mince, sausages (depends on the skin),fish are all good hearty meals and will make the eating experience more pleasurabe for all (theory).

You can also try giving him something sweet about 15 minutes prior to dinner,such as a strawberry jam (the USA call it Jely?) sandwich (crusts cut off) to tease the taste buds.

Frustrating isn't it? Just like my kids .. they've always detested anything tougher than mince cause chewing is a waste of time LOL

Cheers

 
Old 02-04-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

Dear Jan,

Chewing became a problem for my Mom even before we understood she had Dementia. She never said, 'I am having problems chewing' - oh no! Quite unlike her normal self, she began being a major nuisance whenever we took her out to eat, which used to be a major highlight of her life.

If you know German food, her favorite was sauerbraten which is a pot roast cooked and cooked and cooked in gravy/red wine until it falls apart, almost. Well, she would send it back with rude comments to the waiter. Steak? Fugeddaboudit, she could not find a piece tender enough for her. Stew? The meat in it got chewed and spat out.

At home, I soon stopped using anything at all that needed to be chewed, cooking vegetables to death, not using salads, cutting up fruit in tiny pieces, all in the hope that she would eat and swallow something.

That's why they love ice cream, pudding, cake, cocoa, etc. sweet and tasty but not needing to be chewed.

Fast forward to her present life in the NH - everything is pureed. Pureed macaroni. Pureed pancakes. yes, really! With syrup. She eats it. She tells us they are a private resort with a French chef.

Yes, not being able to chew (although her ancient teeth are in great shape!) is symptomatic of AD and cannot be changed, like so much else.

I agree that it's time to find a nice place for him to be cared for so you can resume having a life of your own ... I was 66 when I finally left Mom in other people's care, and glad I did ...

Love,

Martha

 
Old 02-04-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

I tend to think that my dh has vascular dementia, not AH, but hs drives me crazy bc he wants to eat every hour or two, if not more often. Sometimes if I tell him no he will take no, sometimes not. I had a big several months long struggle to convince him I wouldn't make breakfast at 3:30 or 5:30 AM. The latest is that he gets up during the night and pours (sugar free) liguid chocolate in a bowl and eats it with a spoon. He is diabetic and that is the least harmful thing he could do, so I don't say anything. I am now going to start watching to see what is happening with chewing. His meds (risperdol not sure about spelling?) have made him sweet and compliant, Thank God.

 
Old 02-05-2007, 04:04 PM   #6
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

Thank you all for your responses. I guess I realize that he does need to go into a facility of some kind but it is really hard to do it. Even thought he is driving me nuts. No sleep will do that to a person I guess. He is on the waiting list for the VA since September but they have a waiting list out eight months or so. I just hope to God I can last that long. I am even contiplating looking for some alternative care facility until there is an opening.

I really appreciate the comments and support I receive from this board. Thank you all.
Jan

 
Old 02-05-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

I think you also have to ask yourself how your going to cope as he deteriorates. Do you have support and back up for yourself? Can you, at any given chance of the day be able to call someone who will IMMEDIATELY come over and relieve you of your duties for a short while? Long while?

If your not looking after you, it is a crisis waiting to happen. If your not there to look after him what's going to happen then? I know this is one of th HARDEST lessons to learn in placing a loved one.

You have to remember, your not superwoman, you are in fact human, and you do have limitations.

And, unfortunately, it's going to get worse before it get's better (better meaning last stages when they are pretty compliant and happy, but this is not always guaranteed).

You have to prepare for the fact that normal meals will no longer be an option, and how is he going to handle eating minced or vitamised (pureed) foods if he see's you or others eating normal food? Do you have the facilities available to mince/puree the food? Do you have access to thickener (for fluids) ... and if you've had no sleep, and your exhausted, what if you forget and he aspirates food/fluid?

I'm sorry to be the 'doom and gloom' fairy around here, but there has to be viable options. NOBODY wants our loved ones stuck in a nursing home, but if that's what it takes to make them SAFE, then we need to take measures BEFORE a crisis occurs and makes a horrible situation even worse.

Of course, some people CAN handle the 'at home' situations, and I applaud them, but I know me well, and I know I can't nurse a loved one at home. It took me a long time to face that, and my stubborn'ness in trying to continually PROVE myself only created worse scenarios'.

You know you, you know your limitations, admitting them is the first step LOL! Oh and of course, GO GUILT!

Cheers

 
Old 02-06-2007, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

I second the NO guilt motion!

Martha

 
Old 02-06-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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Re: Need Some Input On This One

Jan, my mom is in the Masonic North Ridge Care Center on Boone out in New Hope. Dad is in the independant living section of the campus.You do not have to be a Mason to be there. Mom is in the lock down unit for AZ. patients. She has been there for about a year. We have had nothing but good results with the staff and the facility there.

It's not the same as being able to have them at home, but I have been satisfied with the care. I call several times a week and talk to the nurse that handles Mom for the shift. They are-and I know this is a difficult thing to say-all fluent in English so the patients do not have any difficulty in understanding them.

We fly in from DC every three months, stay in the guest quarters there and visit both Mom and Dad. There is never any problem dropping in, and you are welcome to stay for a meal should you use....We are getting ready to put both Mom and Dad on the list for the VA home in Mpls. also.

What we found out is that there are a couple of friends that Mom and Dad had that are living on the campus also..so there are folks that Dad can visit when he walks over to see Mom.

And we found out when we were at home that Dad is in the early stages of this horrid disease also.

Jill


 
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