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My Mom is 94 and has demetia. Broke her hip this last July and we've been on kind of a roll a coaster since then. UTI's, constipation, MRSA staff, intermittent bouts of insomnia with hallucinations, and now no appetite at all. She was diagnosed with a yeast infection in her mouth and was treated with liquid nystasin. Seems to be gone now, but still no appetite. I've been trying to get her to eat regular food, but she has no appetite and even when she will agree to taste the food (her favorites), she doesn't think they taste good. I've been having her drink 3, 4, 5 ensure pluses a day, but now realize after some research that this is not a good answer. I'm wondering if anyone has some recipes for 'real food' nutritional blended drinks that I could use instead of the ensure drinks. Also, my Mom just today developed a rash on her back and I'm wondering there have been any side effects experienced from a week or two use of ensure drinks? Thanks, KJ

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I doubt that the rash is from the ensure drinks, though she could be allergic to an ingredient. It could be medications or something else. With all of her health issues, it could be most anything. It's not surprising she has no appetite.
You'll probably get more ideas from the community here, but one I'd suggest is vanilla yogurt with fruit, protein powder and a good, liquid multiple vitamin mix. Frozen fruit, like strawberries, carry a punch of flavor and nutrients, so they are good. I'd check with the local hospital's dietary department for ideas that are agreeable with your mom's medications, as some foods aren't compatible with some medications.
Good luck,
Carol
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When people get older, they taste less and less -- but SWEET is a flavor they can still taste till the end, in most cases. My Dad will drink anything with Chocolate Ovaltine in it: I put in pasteurized eggs, soluble fiber and protein powder and he drinks it like he's 12 and it's the malted shake of his dreams.
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Is she asking for food? If she is not hungry, this may be a sign that she is ready to shut down. Has hospice been called? When my mom was declining, I called them and they were able to accept her due to failure to thrive...she has since gained 10 lbs. and is doing better. If you are her health proxy, you will have to make decisions as to how much you will force nutrition upon her etc. No doubt, this is a difficult time for you. My mother eats the following: scrambled eggs with lots of butter. yogurt, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes mixed white with sweet with cream and butter, homemade chicken soup (chicken strained out) with overcooked egg noodles, pasta and ragu with cheese mixed in, mix fruit cups, chocolate, cookies, mini cupcakes, Ensure and Boost (she won't drink water, juice, tea coffee, soda). This sounds like an unhealthy diet but it is one that gave my mom extra weight and keeps her nourished as best as one can expect. She will not eat regular things anymore...no more sandwiches, no more hamburgers, no pork tenderloin, no more chicken breasts, no more bread, no more salads or other veggies - even if cooked soft...she spits them out. It is very frustrating to work through this change of diet. They just don't need so much food anymore and their taste buds are changed. Don't forget that acidopholis (spelling?) comes in pill form and that is good to balance the yeast. Keep us posted and reach out for help...that is a good thing to do! Hugs.
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I would blend drinks that are nutritionally sound and sweet: bananas, blueberries, strawberries, protein powder, egg whites, yogurt. I think cold would taste better than hot or warm. I'm sorry, but the blended McDonald's sounds repulsive--haha Jamie! Also, chicken noodle soup is very healing, nourishing and comforting. Mashed or pureed root vegetables--combos, is also very good. Whatever consistency you need to make it, thin with chicken or vegetable broth. Use Splenda is there is a problem with yeast from sugar. Maybe a juicer would be good, and mix green and fruit juices together for better taste.
I hope Ruth 1957 sees this question, as well as Cricket. Both have nutritional expertise. Blessings to you, KJ.
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I doubt that the ensure caused her rash, ensure and boost and other supplements that are similiar in nutritional value are often used by hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare agencies. They have a high nutritional value to them. Some people really do not care for the flavor.

As the person with dementia advances in their disease they will have a decrease in appetite, could be from any number of things including having a difficult swallowing regular foods.

Protein to protect from skin breakdown would be one of the more important nutrients to get into her. You can try ice cream milk shakes, fruit smoothies made with yogurt, oj and frozen fruit is a good nutritious option. Try 3/4 cup frozen fruit, 3/4 vanilla or strawberry yogurt and 1/2cup of orange juice, blend until smooth, add more juice if too thick. If your mom can't drink through a straw, try giving it to her by spoon a little bit at a time. I have heard that people recovering from thrush have a hard time with taste, thick, cold, sweet beverages often help with this.

I am sorry that your mom has been through so much.
Sarahjean,
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You can puree about anything, thats what I did for mom for many months. Mom really liked fresh fruit pureed with yogurt or cottage cheese. But I had to watch dairy products due to stomach irritation and diarreha. I used to go to McDonalds and get a Hamburger and puree the bun and all. It looked gross but mom loved it. It actually tasted like a burger even though it was liquidified.
I limited Ensure it caused mom some bowel issues. As far as a rash, it could be medication related. Mom developed some rashes from time to time. It seemed to be centered around when she was on antibotics.
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if your mom likes tuna, egg, or chicken salad (pureed of course) or mashed potatoes, then you can add the supplement called benecalorie - each container is on 1.5 ounces of a milky liquid and totals 300 calories - my father has one every day. Also - Enlive is a drink (200 calories in a 6 ounce juicebox) - either apple or berry flavored - either drink it orlet it partially freeze to a slushy consistency. Also 1 TBS of olive oil contains 130 calories - easy to add to soups, mashed potatoes, etc.
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Thanks ela and christina! Great suggestions! Love it!
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Oh my, sounds like my journey last year! My Moms urine cultures were negative but we treated regardless for a week with amoxicillin. (Bactrim is horrible, dont use it!! night mares and crazies!) We then stay on 1 amoxicillin daily as a preventative, and make sure she has a mini yugurt a day. Also Mom gets 1 teaspoon of miralax daily. (We weaned down from 2 Tablespoons, aweyiyiyi!) As far as foods, from what I learned alz/dem patients lose smell and taste. Moms dr said since she is not diabetic, let her have what she wants. I buy mini frozen waffles, make my own mini pancakes, and add a dab of real syrup on them for breakfast. For lunch she loves sweet and sour chicken (healthy choice meal) and a grilled (in olive oil) corn or blueberry muffin sprinkled with a little sugar once cooked. She also loves butterscotch puddings and dannon childrens mini yogurts with also the mini m&m's or peanut butter m&m's on each bite. Good luck, hope this helps some.
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Thanks guys, all great ideas and I will be trying all of them over the next couple of days. McDonalds burger blended....lol! :)
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