How do you get an Alzheimer's person to lose some weight?

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Mom is 83. in an independent living community. There are no special diets. she has free will to eat what and when she pleases. and she's gained a lot of weight. i'd say maybe 25 lbs this past yr. how do in coax her into eating better? we go to the grocery store, she buys fruit, but then doesn't eat it. I wind up throwing a lot of her food out. she argues with me about what she wants to buy. if I buy it and take it to her, she still wont eat it. loves her sweets. snack foods.. they have coffee and donuts in a bistro every morning. that's where i'll find her. and plates of donuts brought back to her room. not too big on the walking or exercising. i'm lost...

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They are dealing with so many people who don't eat enough, so those kinds of foods that go down easy and have lots of calories per bite! But, that means they are failing to individualize for the rest of us with huge appetites who need to fill up on lighter fare. Eating either more or less than you have an appetite for is VERY hard. I have patients who just barely put on enough weight to grow drinking a couple cans of 2 cal per cc formula...me, I'd be afraid to even inhale the fumes form that stuff :-) No easy answer. They really do tend to view it all as a horse is out of the barn situation, but quality of life deteriorates fast if your blood sugars are through the roof. They at least had sugarfree for my mom - mostly too high in fat but that's another story. We had to change her diabetes medication approach so she was not ravenous and stashing and eating sugar packets all the time.
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YOU have to be in control, e.g. take away all sweets! She doesn't get a say in the matter!
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because this is an independent living center, not assisted living, they have almost no interaction with the people.. if you raise their level of care, the will do more. but money is the factor. the more you need them to help the more it costs. already over 3000 a month. and she doesn't qualify for help.
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Is it an option to speak with the management about cutting back on offering the donuts? They could perhaps offer healthier snacks that aren't so toxic. Maybe have the donuts once a week or something like that. 25 lbs is a lot. Maybe it's time to move her to a safer environment where management is more concerned about the health of their clients. I'm assuming the donut shop is part of the facility. To me you should at least let them know of your concern. This seems wrong on so many levels to set up someone who can't make reasonable decisions about their food choices.
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Thank you Mellita for taking the emotion out of this question you are an awesome nurse.
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The headline to the question: "How do you get an Alzheimer's person to lose some weight?"
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I see nothing where Alzhiemers was mentioned by the poster. Anyway, my Mom has gained 10lbs since daycare. I think she eats till she is full (she does here) but they give much more than she normally eats. She has thyroid problems. The days she goes to daycare dinner is light. When she is with me, I watch her intake. High calorie junk is a no no. She is not active and walks with a walker. I do find with people with dementia that its the sweets they tend to go for.
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Unfortunately we can not turn back the clock and have the person we remember back. If we truly love them we do everything to keep them healthy but as Jessie says making someone do anything is just not possible. Eating is one of the things that gives her pleasure and you can't remove the donuts from the facility although you can advocate for a healthier choice with coffee or at least not allow residents to stock pile them. As far as the activities, bingo and puzzles are there for the residents enjoyment, this is not a correctional facility. If she won't eat it don't buy it. Can you make her favorite things with for example artificial sweetener not sugar. Above all don't make yourselves miserable with things you can't change. Enjoy the time you have left with your Mom.
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I am a nurse specializing in gerontology. For many people, already having to give up so many things that are important to them, the pleasure associated with eating becomes a quality of life issue. Sure, her physical functioning may decline due to the weight gain. Then there's the expense of buying new clothing. But a person with Alzheimer's is not necessarily going to comprehend consequences of eating the "wrong" foods. Restricting her could cause her to be frustrated and depressed, and depression also contributes to physical and mental deterioration. Exercise is beneficial if a person enjoys it. I say allow your mom to enjoy herself. Quite often, illnesses--including dementia itself--will eventually take a toll on her appetite, and unavoidable and perhaps undesired weight loss will ensue.
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I think they forget to eat sometimes. but mom is mostly due to inactivity. she sleeps a lot. and not eating good when she does eat.. but like its been said. I can only do so much. I agree she's going to need more care,, soon i'm thinking.. its just so hard when you see someone you love, who was a very intelligent person, very active, get to this state. heartbreaking really.
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