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My mother is 89, has dementia and lives in my home. She will only drink coke and only eat ice cream. She also won't wear diapers anymore and since she goes in her pants often and then hides the soiled clothing somewhere in her room. She can't smell anything either. She goes diarrhea all over the bathroom and then tells me I'm trying to make her look like an idiot and she doesn't like it. In other words I did the diarrhea and blamed on her because I am jealous of her!! She keeps telling me her brain is just as good as mine and she told the doctor her memory is excellent! The doctor told me I have to choose my battles. The way things are going around here I AM going to end up in the looney bin!
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My elderly mother will only drink coke and eat ice cream. She has really bad dementia and refuses to eat anything else and she refuses to wear diapers so she pees and hides her soiled clothes. I took her into my home 4 years ago. The doctor said I have to choose my battles. So I'm not fighting her anymore on these 2 things. P. S. She thinks I hate her when I explain what she is doing and starts crying. So like I said I'm thru with telling her to stop.
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My dad has stage 5 parkinson's and gets downright nasty over third bowl of ice cream. It has nothing to do with needing more variety at dinner - it is more like an addiction. IDK if it is physiological or psychological but if your loved one is in the same shape, there's nothing you can do to stop it other than just trying to distract them and keep sweets out of the house.
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husbergfa, I am smiling as I recognize the ice cream princess in my own mother's taste for ice cream. A few things I do include occasionally not having any ice cream in the house. I serve applesauce or jello as a treat, among other things. If it's a sweet tooth and consistency thing, alternating may work. Other times, I simply stay ahead of the curve and occasionally ask Mom if she would like some ice cream after we eat dinner. I have always told her that how much she eats when it comes to meals doesn't matter as much as her just eating something to keep her strength up. In other words, lots of encouragement sometimes help. The other thing I do occasionally, is simply allow her to enjoy her ice cream while I pretend to look the other way. As I see it, she has earned her stripes, if she is alive into her old age. Sometimes I mix some malted milk and rolled oats into it for a little rolled oats roughage. Hope your Mom's dental health is ok? Maybe she just enjoys and welcomes soft serve foods? Any thoughts on whether that might be the case, or not? Hope you figure this one out to help her balance her nutritional needs.
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Feel so helpless when that happens. What to do? could be ice cream diet in hospital caused diarrhea. I am just curious about what the hospital said to do, or what they did. Just having experience with Mom, seems the only thing they do is hand out stool softeners, this in lieu of getting the patient to move around. Ditto on blood thinner shot. It's like being on a three day around the world airplane flight I guess, where you move around just to get to the bathroom...or NOT in case of a hospital stay.

Good there's a variety of food she's willing to eat. With the dentures problem halfway solved, am working to get mom to eat different things. Oh, want to see you mom go bananas for something? Real flan with that thin caramel sauce. I thought she'd inhale it. I counted it as a score that she was eating something else besides yogurt...but we paid for this indulgence the next day.
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Thanks, AlzCaregiver, for your thoughtful reply. My mom doesn't have a problem eating cereal and a banana at breakfast, and half a peanut butter sandwich and yogurt for lunch. It is the dinner meal she was balking at. The last three nights she has finally eaten my meals without complaint, so I am grateful. Perhaps the meals are giving her more energy to be like her old self. I can hope. She had just come out of three days in the hospital with explosive diarhea (although the not eating dinner started before that visit) so that was probably a reason for it, too. She only wanted ice cream and bananas there, as well. This is such a supportive atmosphere here, thank you all for your ideas!
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It's all well and good to let our charges eat whatever they want, especially sweets. But too much sugar can cause many problems in the elderly, including bladder and bowel function. Yes that can mean more diarrhea and peeing. It can also make alz. and dementia worse. Next time your loved one is having a bad day with memory function, and bathroom habits, think back on how much sugar they have ingested in the last 24 hours. You might be surprised by the change you will see if you cut back on their sugar intake for a few days. I know that we tend to give them whatever they want to eat at this point in their lives, but cutting back on sugar can make life a whole lot easier for all of us.
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You can try yogurt also. Start with the Yoplaits, as they are just as yummy as ice cream, and some are labeled dessert yogurts. Once she is used to that, you can start switching to more healthy brands, as Yoplait uses aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. Look for brands that have few additives and LIVE cultures. Stevia is apparently the most healthy non-calorie sweetener.

Mom stopped eating any textured foods with the demise of her dentures over time, rather the shape shifting of her mouth as the bone loss caused ill fitting uppers. After months of trial and error with dental fixatives, I finally settled on Cushion Grip temp reliner to get a better overall fit and SECURE, a non soluble fixative. Meanwhile, all this time eating only goosh...practicing eating goosh and nothing else.

I thought how to get enough protein, and used a protein drink with 35 gr protein per 11 oz drink (spread through the day). That and the yogurt made more than enough protein. But then there was no fiber, so added some Benefiber soluble fiber. Then started to think how to get other vitamins, etc into her. It's been a walking biology experiment, with unpredictable lag times.

Eventually, I started making my own yogurt and draining off the whey, which I put into my own soups, but is good to freeze and add to smoothies. Others suggested peanut butter, which I mxed with vanilla yogurt so it wouldn't stick to her dentures. Recently, diarrhea is the problem, not constant, but every few days.

The problem with ice cream or yogurt mono diet is that it is high in sugars, both from added flavorings and the lactose itself. I give Mom a lactase enzyme pill to help. Of course the lack of fiber.

The maddening thing with working out solution is that yogurt (a milk product) and fiber are both solutions to diarrhea...and the cause of it. The BRAT diet specifically has low fiber, but fiber helps absorb the moisture of diarrhea. ARGH. Just try researching this via google. There seems to be NO authority on geriatric digestion. Not like this is a NEW problem! Why no real information??

Protein drinks can themselves cause diarrhea. Google "protein drinks diarrhea." Apparently the soy {protein] causes it, the whey milk protein causes it, the condensed hit of bolus of protein causes it. This is in body builders, bike racers, etc.

Where I am now is to cut back on the protein drink, which I sometimes topped with chocolate sauce and made into a mocha with bit of coffee (to be made into icy drink for summer). I cut back all sugary toppings, like the coconut sauce I found in the liquor dept. I am putting apple sauce or smashed bananas into the yogurt (both part of the BRAT or BRATTY diet).

Another comfort food I am successful in feeding her is Campbell's tomato soup, but that has high fructose corn syrup. However, it serves to train her to drink other flavors. Campbell has line of "in hand" containers that works well for her drinking soups. Last night I had her drink a tasty chicken/veggie/tomato soup broth I made. The day before, I actually made oatmeal, and she ate most of it.

Some things you can do to make food more appealing is to top with whipped cream or CoolWhip, melted cheese. To make matters worse, one of my cats is a finicky eater, and will basically lick off the sauce and leave the food. So she's constantly crying at her feed bowl. URGH.
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I agree with na and lobster. What difference does it make if they eat a lot of sugar. It's easy to digest and gives my mom a little boost of energy. She also likes chocolate Ensure and Equate.

I the desire for sweets has a lot to do with diminishment of taste and smell. Also some foods we are used to eating for dinner are hard to digest.
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It might help to offer some sweeter tasting foods at dinner too. Sweet potatoes, squash, salmon baked with a sprinkling of brown sugar on top (yum!).
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I've been told that the elderly slowly lose their taste for food. The last taste to go is for sweets and that is why many elderly pass on their meals and go straight to dessert!
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies. Tonight she ate a good dinner (I cook every night) with the promise that ice cream was coming after :-) I guess that will work for awhile. While we did just have to move to another building in our complex, the not wanting to eat dinner started before. Oh well, she is 84 - and at least there's a little protein involved!
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I will have my mother-in-law over for dinner and dessert. On the way back to the living asst. place, she will want to stop for ice cream. I tell her, we just had ice cream. But it makes no difference. She wants ice cream! I figure at this stage of her life (85yrs) who cares anymore? If she wants ice cream, we stop for ice cream.
I've heard that as you get older the last taste buds to go belly up, are the sweet and salty ones. Maybe that's a factor, I don't know.
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My dad is dependent on prednisone, so I know that is a factor in his sweet tooth. I think researchers really should study the elderly more, my dad has reverted to a love of ice cream, potato chips, coffee and chicken. If that's all he had to eat - he'd be happy.

My dad also has alzheimer's or dementia, and so talking "sense" really doesn't work. He'll just ask against. So -- we've just put away all reminders and access. There is no candy or sweets in the house. Not that he doesn't get any - every daily walk the other old folks stuff him with snacks and we have ice cream quite often. He also eats well at meals. But it's just a tactic to reduce the constant asking. What's the saying "Out of sight - out of mind."
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Will she eat regular food if all she has to do is sit down at the table with you, or pull something frozen from the freezer? Has there been a change in living arrangements or health? If so, they may have no appetite for real food, only sweets. I have no advice on how to get her to eat regular food, and you may have to provide Ensure or some other type of nutritional and/ or fiber supplement, with vitamins, but here is how I have started handling my relative's love of sweets. I have started to buy her sugar free jelly and fruit. I told her that's what I was doing, and she is OK with that. Also, I give her 1-serving portions of chips or candy, so she does not eat the entire bag or container in two days. Luckily, she's not diabetic, but did have elavated sugar a little, a couple of months. She has been fine since, but she understands the need to eat less sweets.
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My mom was eating chocolate for awhile and then all of a sudden it stopped now she doesnt want to eat, but that's due to her delusion on constipation now. So it may just be a phase and stop on it's own.
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