My elderly parent is not eating much and im not sure what to do.

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also incontinence and does not want to change underware or allow me to wash clothes, not sure what to do.


Dear Chente,

Sorry to hear what you have been going through. Its tough to see any elderly parent feel like this. I would have the doctor review their meds? Or conduct some additional tests? Are they depressed? Are they dying?

I didn't know this but my dad had heart failure. He started eating less and less. I tried Ensure and giving him Boost but he was getting weaker and weaker. I guess it can be a lot of little things leading up to not eating much and refuses to change their soiled underwear. My dad started to get angry about having showers. I had to put my foot down and beg him to have at least one shower a week. But in hindsight, I didn't realize there was deeper issue. He was dying. And this is why there was a drastic change in his behaviour. I hope you can find the right answer. Keep digging. I know its hard but do the best you can.
Chente, what are the living arrangements for your parent? What is the health situation? Sometimes this behavior is typical of dementia, but it could be other things. Sometimes people forget how to toilet, eat and bathe! Is there an aide or family member assisting with these things?
My mother started just picking at her food about a month before a UTI landed her in the hospital. I spoke to the doctor who advised that it was OK to substitute a Glucerna (she's diabetic) for her meals. He also prescribe an anti-depressant/appetite stimulant. I saw a big improvement over a couple of days but then the UTI must have hit and she regressed.

When asked, she would blame my cooking but she really would not eat anything.

The food in rehab was disgusting so I figured that would explain the not eating. She is home not and ignores even her favorite foods.

About the soiled clothing, if they are not already in depends, start using them. And have a schedule where they are changed every two hours (recommended by Mom's urologist). Don't let them fight you on this. Sitting in wet underwear/depends means that the urethra (in women) is sitting directly on bacteria and will end up causing a UTI.
Can anyone give names of any “antidepressants and or appetite stimulate” I guess a combo med or simply an appetite stimulate as already on 25 mg Zoloft which doesn’t seem strong enough??-89 yr old father steadily starving himself refusing to eat and I have more Dr appts coming up for him and being told no such thing as an appetite stimulant?? Thank you to all
Whinnydog, please note that elders tend to slow down on their eating. One reason is that they are no longer active, thus don't have the need to chow down on a lot of calories.

Another reason is that as we age we tend to lose our sense of taste. Most elders can still taste sugar, so if Dad doesn't have issues with sugar intake, let him eat the sweets. At 89 years old, he should eat what he wants.

When was the last time Dad went to the dentist? Maybe he has a tooth that hurts when he eats.

Or maybe he has acid reflux which could make him scared to eat. Stay away from anything with tomatoes and drinking sodas as a start to see if that may help. Dad could eat 1 or 2 Tums before eating, I know it helps me. Check with his doctor first.

As for meds, stay away from meds to try to get your Dad to eat. With side effects from meds, you wouldn't want to upset his stomach.
thanks everyone for your help and advise, but my dad passed away last week. to assist your own research, he was only drinking cokes I would bring, and I added a little sugar packs. I figured it would also be good if he had a upper or lower partial bowel restriction due to the thimbles of fluids they were supplying during meals. i think dementia may have had an effect also, but he remembered me till he died. He would ask for me all the time. he would not eat anything else I would bring.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Chente.
I am sorry for your loss, Chente.
My condolences Chente. I'm so glad that he remembered you all the way to end. That just touched my heart. {{{Hugs}}}

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