How do I get mom to eat after her stroke?

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My mom who is 89 just had a stroke that left her no movement on her right side and aphasia. We also just found out recently that she has an enlarged heart and COPD. All early stage. Because she can't say much I can't tell if her dementia is active or if she's lucid. However, the worst is that we can't seem to get her to eat. I'm worried for her. This is the first time she's not been living with me in 11 years. I think she's depressed. Any suggestions?

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Depression is a likely problem here. Your anxiety is understandable as you are used to her living with you and now you don't have that constant contact.

So much depends on the stage of each disease. Are other organs in her body shutting down so she doesn't want food? Or is she not eating because it's too difficult (likely) and food doesn't appeal to her?

Liquid nutritional supplements are often used during this stage. Also, puddings, jello and fruits are light and can sometimes be taken. Does she choke? She may be afraid to try eating if she chokes.

I would try to figure out what is behind her not wanting food, however in her case it is likely several things. Talking with her doctor and the dietician at the facility are good ideas. There may be ways to temp her and foods which work for her. Forcing her will only backfire. Everyone needs to encourage without forcing, and give her as much liquid as she'll take.

It's distressing when we want our loved ones to eat and they won't. Finding out why they won't eat is important. When someone is nagged too much it just upsets them and then they are less likely to want food.

Remember that hydration is the most important thing for her. If her situation qualifies for hospice care, you may want to look into that. A good hospice has great understanding of the stages of these diseases. If she is in an earlier stage of all the diseases than that, then working with a therapist and a dietician may help.


Take care,
Carol
((Hugs)) to you lorene. I think that she is telling you it is time to let go. What are the nursing home staff and docs telling you? I think that the fact that they have removed her medications is telling, they could find ways to administer them if they felt it would help. Refusing food is common toward the end. I think you should let her have her ensure if she asks for it, but don't force food. Has anyone suggested hospice??
For some reason or another, strokes ( ischemic) appear to attack the left side of the brain, therefore, the patient experiences loss of movement on the right side of the limbs......hands and legs. Physical therapy is needed to "work" the right sided limbs and hands so that they will not atrophy. Now as far as speech is concerned, you can have speech therapy also, and it will do some good FOR AWHILE/... then unfortunately, the patient will not want to speak, not because of depression, but because it will take too much of an effort to do so. Then, she won't be able to speak. This is a long way off yet. Hand gesturing is very important. You can set up your own "signals" between the two of you, or you can use the standard ASL. Pointing is very important too. Please pray for stroke victims......now, and at the hour of their death, amen.
get a hourly or live in caregiver to attend to her needs, what locations are you at?
you should check your local area for more information.
When my mother did not want to eat one thing that worked was to cut up the food into small pieces and put on a serving plate that she could take what she wanted to also she would use crarnation instant breakfast which is cheaper than ensure and if she wants to skip some meals that is alright you need to keep it low keyed sometimes puddings will taste good to someone who has a lack of appetite.
My mother had her second stroke weak ago. She is 77 years old. She doesn't want to eat anything. We try the ensure, but she spills it out. She drinks water some. Her first stroke was mild. She was eating and almost time for her to walk in no time until her second stroke hits her. :(((((((((((
my father, age 79, just had a small stroke two weeks ago. He is doing better and is in a rehab facility, but he wont eat. We cant really get too much out of him as he gets agitated at getting asked a lot of questions. I know he has always been stubborn but i am really worried because he doesnt even eat the equivalent of a full meal thru out the day. He does have a bit of a tremor so it's hard for him to hold a utensil, so i am sure that some of this is frustration on his part? Any ideas?
thanks
Paul
It seems she has a UTI and it seems to have increased her dementia. The doctor has put her on antibiotics and we're hoping that will help. As far as her other organs, she does have early stage heart failure but medication is helping her heart pump better and Lasiks are keeping the fluids off her lungs. Her blood pressure is good, her pulse and heartrate are good, her pulse oxygen is 96% - there was no bleeding in the brain with the stroke - everything else is working fine. So she isn't imminently terminal and if she eats and engages in her physio, she could recover some speech and movement. She does say a words now and then in response to situations, remembers names and says them sometimes and has said yes & no. The last time she was in hospital a few years ago she was very down and wouldn't move or try to speak. When we told her that they needed the bed and she had to get moving, she miraculously walked again and came home for another four years. After she came home she said that she thought I had taken her to a "mental" hospital and was just leaving her there. I think that's what's happening now. Right after the stroke she was alert and trying to feed herself using her left hand. But now she seems very down and non responsive.
I am having the same problem with my Mom. She had a relatively minor stroke (right side, affects the left) then, few weeks later, a heart attack and they placed two stents. She basically stopped eating after the stroke and after the heart attack she was way over medicated and wound up in the hospital again. She has lost almost 30 pounds since the stroke at the end of November. I was hoping that the meds were causing loss of appetite, nausea, etc. but the weird thing is that she wants to eat but can't stand stand the feel of food in her mouth! I think maybe one (or more )of the meds caused a bad taste and she developed an aversion. Has anyone ever heard of or had this experience?
List your meds, one by one and go to the pharmacist who dispenses them. Ask about the side effects of each one and you can determine which med (s) is the culprit that MAY cause loss of appetite.

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