My 93 yr old mother hasn't eaten for about 5 weeks now.

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She just has sips of tea or water, 2 or 3 spoonfuls of yogurt, ice cream or cereal. We keep trying but nothing tastes right to her. As she has dementia she is losing the use of her muscles, including being unable to chew food, so this probably is the root of the problem. She is wasting away though, and she won't last long if this carries on. she just say's it's sickly or doesn't taste nice. We are exhausted with trying & so worried about her becoming really ill.


I've been told that the taste buds that are the last to go when we get old, are the sweet & salty ones. Probably why my mother-in-law loves ice cream now. :) Anyway, medications can throw off your taster and just plain getting old and saying that everything tastes 'off' seems normal too. I'd be curious to see if you can find something that she loved to eat as a kid and try it on her now. With dementia your short term memory is in the crapper but the long term hangs in there for awhile. Maybe triggering that memory from her childhood would be tempting to her? I don't know, just a thought. As far as chewing, can she still suck on a straw or drink? If it were my mom, I'd blend up stuff until I happened upon something that turned her on. And I'd keep trying to find that ONE thing that made her happy. "Keep on keeping on" is what I'd say. Good luck to ya.
Yeh will do. She does eat ice cream & that is the one thing she will clear the dish. But as for drinks....... aahhh its a nightmare. Thanks for advice.
My mom has lost her sense of taste too, for the most part. But she still enjoys sweet things, like ice cream and cookies. She eats some of her supper, but not the whole amount. I try to give her things she likes, but nothing tastes like it used to for her. The supplement drink is good for extra nutrition and it is sweet, so she'll drink it. I worry about her not eating enough, but she gets annoyed if I coax her too much to eat. She doesn't seem to think eating is too important. It could be some depression also. I just let her eat what she wants and see that she drinks water to prevent dehydration.
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Are you in the US? If not, is hospice care available where you are? This might be a good time for an evaluation for that service. Is the lack of desire to eat something you should try to overcome, or is it a sign that her body is shutting down? If you had a professional opinion about that, it might help you decide how to approach it.

Warm hugs to you with this difficult issue.
No I am in the UK & she dosn't need hospice care, she isn't ill, just old. The doctor has seen her and isn't too worried, she said it's very common, however saying that they don't care a lot about the very elderly in this country and if you don't have shedloads of money to pay there's very little support. All social services think about is their budget and how to cut down on costs.

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