Daddy is sliding. At first, it was slowly, but now, it's picking up speed. And one of the things that is tough is the food thing. I cook all his food. 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, and I have managed to keep his weight stable for 4 months now. (Yay, me! I take a little pride in that...)
But. He is refusing - or unable - to eat anything with lumps, chunks, or pieces of meat in it. He is fine with eggs, V8 Splash, all liquids, mac and cheese (homemade of course), soft cooked veggies, canned fruit (fresh is too difficult to chew, I guess), toast, biscuits. He hates cooked cereal but eats cheerios if they get soggy first.
We have been to the dentist, and his teeth are fine. It seems to be a behavior. If he eats a hamburger, the pickle rind comes right out of his mouth. Tomato skin, same thing. Ground beef in spaghetti gets spit out and neatly stacked on the side of his plate. Meat loaf - refused. Bacon (he used to LOVE bacon) - refused. Sausage - refused. Chicken - refused.
I can't get meat down him. Should I be blender-izing meat and adding to his food? Like ham in the mac & cheese? Or should I let it go since he eats well if it's all soft.
And. Any soft diet ideas? I am out of ideas, myself. And-one more thing-is this common as the dementia progresses?
My Mom was at the NH when she stopped being able to chew and swallow normally. They gave her some kind of nutritional supplement. It was like a thick milk shake. She struggled to get it all down. She also got thickened water, thickened coffee, pureed meats (no bits or pieces to spit out) pureed vegetables, mashed potatoes. Gravy. Puddings. Rice pudding, jello, applesauce.
The thick shakes contained all the vitamins and minerals and even fiber that she needed. Until her body stopped processing food ...
They were incredibly patient getting her to eat and drink. It took forever and often she was too tired to continue. It was a struggle for her to have to eat - this was a woman who had loved food, every kind of food, all her life. As a child in Germany she was starving. Her village was the lucky recipient of a soup kitchen when WW I was over, run by the Quakers. One bowl of soup a day was all she got. Mom dreamed of going to America where she could eat ''a whole bratwurst all by myself!" She emigrated at the age of 16, and the first thing she bought with her first pay packet was a whole bratwurst, which she did eat up all by herself!
We give my Mom a milk shake type drink to supplement her very poor eating habits. It is called Glycerna its for diabetics. They also have the same type for non diabetics it is called Ensure. So many nights I have given her that to drink when she refuses to eat.
I also found for some reason she loves Baked Haddock. I think because it is soft and flakey and light tasting. So I try to cook that often. Matter of fact I was up in Maine during the summer and stopped at a great place and bought 5lbs of fresh haddock right from the ocean. Living in Boston we are spolied with our great seafood!!
What you see happening little deb is not unusual. Those chunks and bits and funny feeling hunks just don't go down so they come out. At this point it is best to stick with the soft or thickened liquids. Puree anything, even hidden in something he really likes is a good idea. We gave all of our "weak" eaters Ensure at the center where I worked. Some like it blended with ice cream, and some just drank it chilled. It is a little thicker than milk and seems to go down well.
The meat is protein so if he's not eating meat you just have to substitude another protein into his diet. That can be done with beans, eggs, peanut butter, soy milk, whole grain bread, cheese and other milk products... and suprisingly cooked broccoli.
Crank up the blender, blend the veggie beef soup for dad and a frozen drink with an umbrella in it for yourself
Is this common? Grandma has always been a good eater, but lately they have days where they can barely get her to eat. I'm wondering as I read all your posts that maybe she's having "trouble" eating, rather than not wanting to eat? I think I'll share this "soft diet" idea with my Uncle....
It is not uncommon Caroline. They lose the ability to eat, even the ability to swallow. Refusal to do something may be nothing more than she can not figure out how to do it anymore. Giving her finger foods might help if that is the case. If she is forgetting how to chew and swallow then a soft diet will possibly help. At some point the body will forget how to process food so not matter what you get in them, they get no nutritional value from it. It would be hard to tell long distance what stage she is in but your Uncle can definitely try finger foods or a soft diet to see how she does with it.
Awww...that sounds very sad Deb....I dont even want to think about it. But I think it's important to mention to Uncle....this may be what's happening with her. I'll give him the information and he will be the best one to see if maybe this will help.