Follow
Share

In three and a half years Mom has gone from 175 to 135, so I see "failure to thrive" coming. Forty pounds is a lot, and is unintentional weight loss. She used to be a member of the clean plate club, but rarely finishes a meal now.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I have a Ninja smoothie maker and it is wonderful at mixing up protein powder with any type of fruit, veggie, etc perhaps a very smooth texture or straw would be more likely to be injected by the originally mentioned person who needs help. My mom is about 4-10 definitely shorter at 93 than before. And her muscle tone is almost nil, she just watches TV and eats (and goes to bathroom too frequently). She has a treadmill so she is supposed to be exercising but she's refused to have it parked in front on the TV. Lol, because then she can't see the TV....from her chair (she would HAVE TO be on the treadmill. Yes.)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All good information, thank you everybody. If I were the POA there are many things I would check into. Discontinuing some meds, speak to hospice or her doc about palliative care, would be first on my list. These are not even topics to bring up with twisted sis POA. She knows all, yet is only with Mom about eight hours a month. It is unbelieveable the symptoms Mom has that twisted thinks is justification to place her. If my Mom only understood she would be appalled. But, then we wouldn't be having this discussion would we?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Be certain foods, such as meats, are cut into small pieces. It is possible for an elderly person to get a piece stuck in the esophagus. This happened to me father, and after being unable to get it unstuck himself, he had to be taken to the hospital, and that was the "beginning of the end" as he became weak from lying in the hospital bed and never went home again but ended up in a nursing home sooner that he otherwise probably would have needed to be there.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Glad I think your mother needs a thorough evaluation to see if some of her medications can be discontinued. The swallowing difficulties are probably contributing to the weight loss too, there may be loss of taste and smell as well and just the idea of food no longer interests her. The lactose intolerence can also play a big part. lactose free milk, cottage cheese and icecream are all available and one of the non dairy "milks might work especially with a non dairy protein powder mixed in. I find Almond chocolate milk very palatable and indistinguishable from the real cow juice. Personally I can't stand Ensure and Boost contains whey so thats out, even though it tastes good. I have found a non dairy generic protein drink which I do like, but it costs $1.25 for 6oz but contains 300 calories so is a good meal replacement or snack. With swallowing difficulties often comes feeling full too quickly and the feeling of the oesophagus being full of food and nothing going down so eating can take a long time. The muscles in the neck also become weak with age so chewing becomes tiring. Probably no point in putting mom through swallowing studies at her age and degree of dementia but a consultation with a speach therapist can be helpful (for you not Mom) as Mom won't remember a thing. but unless it is very easy to get her out to appointments too much hassle. Give her frequent small soft meals maybe up to six including snacks and drinks. you probably will not reverse the weight loss but maintaining the current weight will be a victory. give her all the lactose free ice cream she will eat if that's all she wants. Stay away from cafene if possible to prevent intestinal hurry and soda which she is more likely to aspirate. At this stage it is difficult to determine if the lack of appetite is due to the dementia or generalized decline. This is the time you do the best you can and fly by the seat of your pants and you don't need the big girl brand for this as you know your mom best.
You do not need a Dr's order to request a visit from hospice. You only need that for admission so maybe even go to their office for an informal talk.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Is it possible all the pills are limiting her appetite? My father was taking many pills, and at one point some weren't being given any longer either due to design or neglect, and he seemed to improve considerably. The problem is that the side effects of some of these medications when taken by very old people aren't known well. (For example, is a marginally-high blood pressure or cholesterol level really that critical in a person in his/her late 80s or older with some dementia?)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Taiwanda, once dementia sets in POA cannot be changed. If they understand what the POA is, and able to explain why they would want to change it there are attorneys that will make the change. But, be very careful about undue influence.

Now about Mom. She is 88 - 5'6" and about 135 pounds. She is still living in her home with her husband of eight years and me as caregiver to both. She, at times has a hard time swallowing, this started about a year ago. The weight has come off gradually. She is still at a healthy weight for her, but much more and it will become too much. Other family members think the weight loss is wonderful, but they do not understand that this much steadily in someone with Alzheimer's is significant health decline.

Mom is taking so many pills now I don't know if an appetite stimulant would work in her regimen. Can certainly ask the doc though. Her hubby was on a stimulant after a hip replacement, I think it was remeron. It helped him to gain 15-20 pounds which is where he has remained fairly steady for three years. Mom is also lactose intolerant, otherwise I would just give her ice cream daily.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

taiwanda, the short answer is no. She has to be of sound mind to appoint POA. You could apply for guardianship, but it is expensive and you'll need a lawyer, I believe.

You also need to make this a separate question, rather than tagging on to the end of this one. Your question really has nothing to do with the original post and would get better responses as a new question.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Lizzie Hall, an appetite stimulant is a medication used to increase one's appetite, so a person who didn't feel like eating, or at least didn't feel like eating much, is likely to eat more. (In other words, it helps in giving the patient "the munchies"!) This can be given alone or put into food.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Agree with all answers. Coninued and continuing loss of weight can be considered failure to thrive and with that diagnosis would be eligible for hospice care.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my brother has been staying with my parents for 12 years now.my father passed away 6 years ago and now he has beeh staying with my mother for the last 6 years .she is 94 and has real bad dementia.they just diagnosed her with bladder cancer and it has taken its toll on him .he is really not able physcialy or mentally to care for her anymore .my question is would I be able to remove him as poa without my mothers consent since she is not able to make that decision
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

What is an appetite stimulant?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with the last post. A doctor has to make this determination and he also has to call in hospice. All homecare facilities have to workfrom a doctor order.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Good answers. Is she home, if so have her doctor determine if Hospice should come and evaluate her. Sorry but you haven't said much.... her age, anyone living with her, her health other than the weight.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I don't know of any guidelines; and I agree that having her evaluated would be a good route to go. But I can share my experience with this issue.

My mom lives in a nursing home facility and was loosing a lot of weight after returning to the facility from a long hospital stay. One of the things they did, until she gained her appetite back, was to give her a liquid supplement - like ensure. This helped her to get the necessary nutrients while we figured out the best plan to get her appetite back on track. Best of luck to you and your mom. :-)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Is she in your home or in a facility? Two parts to this answer. 1. My mom is on hospice for this reason "failure to thrive" due to falls and not eating. However, she has been stable for the last year and hasn't lost anymore weight, in fact had gained due to being sedentary in a wheelchair. The facility/dr. she is in ordered hospice to come in and evaluate about a year and 1/2 ago. So you might go that route by contacting hospice company to come in and do that if she is living with you. #2.....my dad who is 92 1/2 and still lives by himself is steadily losing weight. He is down to 121 after being around 146-50 all his life. He WAS 5'6" but of course has shrunk which he still tells the nurses he is that. (I am 5'1" and look him square in the eyes:). All of his tests are perfect and right where they should be. Doctors tell him that it's just the aging process of losing muscle and to do the ensure or boost shake, about an hour after he eats lunch to fix himself a small sandwich. He's unsteady and uses a walker but I also have him doing some light arm weights and chair leg lifts to try to gain some muscle. He has gained a couple of pounds but I'm not looking for him to become Mr. Universe anytime soon. :) So, to sum up not knowing that much about your mom, the elderly do lose their appetite because systems are slowing down and it could be that simple or it could be that she needs to be evaluated by dr./nurse. 40 lbs in 3 years doesn't seem that much to me for an older person even if she did clean her plate. Their taste buds kind of go to pot too. Until you have her evaluated you won't know what's going on. Good luck and God Bless
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have any appetite stimulants been tried? My mother lost considerable weight a couple years ago, but with appetite stimulants she has gained most of it back and has remained steady at about 124 (although with her inactivity she doesn't require much and never "cleans her plate"). However, just a small increase in daily intake maintained over time can make a significant difference.

Of course I don't know your mother's height or frame size, but would 135 lbs be an "acceptable" (i.e., sufficient) weight for her to maintain? If so, then successfully keeping her at this weight could be considered an achievement.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You are correct, absolutely
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.