Hi Harry...Welcome to our little part of the world. You will find many here going through just what you are.
My mom is gone now. She died July 29th after years of suffering from Alzheimer's. I gave her one can of Ensure a day just as a supplement. She ate other meals but not enough to keep her strong and help to keep her weight up. She didn't have any bad reactions to it at all. But others here had difficulties with too many a day causing diarrhea. Get it cold...shake it up and try it. Start with one and add up and see how she does.
The Following User Says Thank You to meg1230 For This Useful Post: Harry (10-21-2011)
I have read on this board that people with Dementia as well as AD that don't eat balanced diets but use Ensure or the liquid type meal as substitutes--- sometimes have reactions.
I would like to know what reactions happens with using too much Ensure type meals as substitutes? Also, how often can Ensure be used safely?
My wife has Vascular dementia and is a very picky eater. We have been married for 56 years.
I would appreciate any help!!
My FIL stopped knowing that he needs to eat last year. At first we gave him babyfood and Ensure. He seemed to take it OK. He has no side effects. The person with dementia loves sweet food so Ensure should help.
Later, my FIL moved to a NH and he had regular food for 6 months until March. He got choked a lot on the food, so the NH now gives him pureed food and he can eat regular soft desserts like scone and puff.
Your wife may have choking problem as well since this is common in late stage for dementia, so give her some pureed food. Don't just use Ensure. Puree all the food including dinner and everything. This way she can eat regular food as well.
My husband's aunt had Alzheimer's and for the last 10 years of her life, she pretty much survived on Ensure, as she rejected any regular food and had great difficulty chewing. Now, I am not a doctor and don't know about the long term consequences, but I know that without the Ensure, she would have starved to death!
The Following User Says Thank You to rufous57 For This Useful Post: Harry (10-21-2011)
I have used Ensure for both of my parents. Dad (Vascular Dementia) seemed to tolerate it well but continued to lose weight. Mom (Alzheimer's) on the other hand is not tolerating it well. She has had sever diarrhea and we have had to take her off the Ensure. Diarrhea seems to be the most common side effect. This can lead to dehydration which defeats the purpose. I agree with Meg. Start small, one regular Ensure a day and see how she reacts to it. Once you see how she will react to it you can increase or decrease as needed.
Also know that sometimes it is a matter of the body not processing what is being taken in. The other part of the puzzle is that we don't need as much food as we think we need. If there is adequate hydration, very little food is actually needed to sustain. Is your wife losing weight or maintaining her weight?
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: ninamarc (10-22-2011)