I have been talking care of an 87 year old woman since 2006-07. At the end of March 2014 she was hospitalized with Asthma and needed steroid treatments.
Last week she went to the hospital for a fall but was not seriously hurt, later went back to the hospital for dry heaves and was hospitalized for a UTI and two days later, said she had emphysema? no doctors mentioned this before, and she is regularly seen. So of course, we have been doing the Advair and rescue inhaler, even though she barely ever used the rescue inhaler.
At the same time she is a SLOW EATER first it was forgetting to eat, eating cereal all the time or eating 5 banana's because she thought it was a good idea. I realized in 2008 that she needed 24/7 care because she was making inappropriate choices and was not getting the consequence connection. DRINKING WATER is A PROBLEM (there too! I call it senior anorexia, she cuts her food in half and thinks if she doesn't touch the other half, that she doesn't have to eat it or someone else can eat it. The meals whether served small or big make no difference, she will do the same division. The problem in eating is the amount of time, it is now 2 hrs.15 min. to eat a small bowl of cereal, a cup of yogurt, a cup of coffee and water. I tried several times to use the blender to chop her food but she refused to eat it. Does anyone have any other suggestions to a person eating smaller than baby spoon size mouthfuls of food? She also DOES NOT HAVE A SWALLOWING PROBLEM. The oxygen is here if she needs it (the nurse came her saturation is 98).
Any suggestions...she is well cared for...
What part of eating takes so long? Does she chew each mouthful forever? Does she get distracted between bites? It sounds like she takes tiny amounts at a time --?
Have you tried abandoning the concept of "meals"? What if you left a banana on her table while she is watching television? Would she eat half of it? And later gave her a glass of juice. An hour later take a coffee break and have a cookie with her. A half of a tuna sandwich. (Or a whole one she can cut in half.) This may not help at all, but perhaps "snacking" throughout the day would seem like a less daunting task to her.
Does she like milk shakes? Those can be made pretty calorie-dense, with lots of nutrition. I know she doesn't like her regular food blended, but there is a difference between getting a strawberry milkshake and a blended bowl of cereal!
Does she do better with finger foods than items she has to use a spoon or fork for?
Is she still losing weight?
I wish you good luck in dealing with this.