Mom is refusing to eat.

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My mom is losing weight. She has Parkinsons with dementia. She has delusions and hallucinations. These last few days she has been angry with me more than usual because of her delusions. For instance she thinks I steal money from her or I'm going to put her in a nursing home. She told me today she is not going to eat for two days. I told her if she did this I would have to call someone. I've tried to get her to eat with her favorite foods but she still refuses. Anyway this is hard and I feel helpless.


The first thing I wondered is if your mother has trouble eating. Have you noticed if she has any trouble with chewing or swallowing her food, or if it has made her feel bad. I also wondered about the set thought that she was not going to eat for exactly two days. I have heard of inflexibility that can occur with Parkinson's and wonder if this may be what is happening. I wonder if you could bend her rule a bit, maybe offering her some Boost or Ensure "to carry her over while she is not eating." Perhaps if you don't fight her on the eating but give her the drinks, it will tide her over until the fast has ended.

I hope other people will have ideas. I don't have a lot of faith in mine. :)
I thought the same thing maybe she is having trouble swallowing and she is afraid to communicate it. I tried the ensure idea and a shake. Where did you read about inflexibility?
I've read about the inflexibility in several places, but have never fully understood the implications. I was just reminded of what I read by the exactness of the 2 days and the way she was adhering to what she decided. It was like she had set a rule for herself that she was not going to shift from. That is why I wondered if the rule could be bent some without her feeling like it was being broken.
Something else I just considered is there is a 2-day fast mentioned in some books and perhaps on TV. I just googled it and found a lot of information. Do you think your mother might have been exposed to this idea from somewhere?
Two days of fasting isn't going to kill her, especially if she stays hydrated. I wonder what would happen if you just went along with her for exactly two days? Obviously this wouldn't be a good idea repeated often, but as a one-time deal might it eliminate a battle of wills ... maybe.

My husband had Dementia with Lewy Bodies, which is the same thing as Parkinson's with Dementia, except for which symptoms come first. I remember his paranoia (You're stealing from me!) as one of the worst periods we had to weather. His delusions were mostly benign so that wasn't so terrible. Both the paranoia and the delusions pretty much went away. I am not sure whether this was just the normal course of the disease or whether the medications he took contributed to it but I was very happy to see the end of it.

Does your mother's doctor have her on some drugs for the dementia? Drugs tend to be more effective in this type of dementia than in Alzheimer's, for example. There is no cure, of course, but often symptoms can be managed for a better quality of life for the patient and the caregiver.

Hugs to you, dear caregiver. Watching our loved ones with dementia is very sad indeed.

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