How should I handle Mom's dwindling appetite?

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She eats so little I do not know how she keeps going. My mother's appetite has gone down considerably within the past 1 1/2 months. She had been on Remeron and that is known to make you eat and put on weight. She was not overeating but her appetite was good, Now however she could care less about eating since the Remeron has been removed.

We have tried numerous different foods to entice her but she does not care. She wants a cup of coffee and may say she cannot hold another bite of food but she will eat a couple cookies in lieu of food. I let her eat anything she wants, just to get food into her but this is concerning me. When we say anything to her about eating she becomes upset and yells, "Leave me alone. Maybe I'll die and get out of everyone's hair!"

I have noticed that when she eats, she seems to breathe harder almost like she is out of breath. She also pushes her elastic waist pants down a bit like she swelling.

She had gall bladder surgery in September of 2013. Previous to the surgery she had cut way back on eating due to discomfort and we did not realize it was her gall bladder so we began to give her Megace to increase her appetite. After realizing we had a gall bladder problem, we stopped but now I don't know if I should try the Megace again or what because I do not want to cause her any additional discomfort. I do know that as we age our eating declines but I just am unsure how to handle this. She only weights about 97 pounds.

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I used to help an Elderly Neighbor who was 92 when I met her. I took her on trips to the grocery store etc....until she did not care to go anymore. Then she would give me a list and I would shop for her. I noticed that she didn't eat much. One week it would be chicken every day. The next it would be hamburger. She drank a lot of brewed coffee, too.
However, what she ate the most was Ice Cream. She was a naturally lean woman, but I became worried about her as she aged even more. I spoke to my own doctor about her. He was in his late 70's and had been my GP for about 35 years. He worked until he was 84. Then he passed away. He was a Great Old Fashioned Doctor. When I told him about my friend he told me that her diet was all right for such an elderly person. He encouraged me to encourage her to eat more Ice Cream....Quality Ice Cream with high fat content.....because it had a lot of food value for her. Now there are Liquid Food Supplements like Ensure etc. I probably would have tried those for her....if they had been "invented" way back then.

My friend did not pass away until she was 99 years 10 months old. She died in her sleep on Christmas Eve. The Nurses and Aides told me she had been Very Cheerful and Talkative the day before and went to sleep Very Happy. They said that happens with the Very Elderly. So my friend had a life she loved.....and she ate what she wanted....and she lived and loved for almost a century. Mostly eating Ice Cream for the last 8 years.
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I used to help an Elderly Neighbor who was 92 when I met her. I took her on trips to the grocery store etc....until she did not care to go anymore. Then she would give me a list and I would shop for her. I noticed that she didn't eat much. One week it would be chicken every day. The next it would be hamburger. She drank a lot of brewed coffee, too.
However, what she ate the most was Ice Cream. She was a naturally lean woman, but I became worried about her as she aged even more. I spoke to my own doctor about her. He was in his late 70's and had been my GP for about 35 years. He worked until he was 84. Then he passed away. He was a Great Old Fashioned Doctor. When I told him about my friend he told me that her diet was all right for such an elderly person. He encouraged me to encourage her to eat more Ice Cream....Quality Ice Cream with high fat content.....because it had a lot of food value for her. Now there are Liquid Food Supplements like Ensure etc. I probably would have tried those for her....if they had been "invented" way back then.

My friend did not pass away until she was 99 years 10 months old. She died in her sleep on Christmas Eve. The Nurses and Aides told me she had been Very Cheerful and Talkative the day before and went to sleep Very Happy. They said that happens with the Very Elderly. So my friend had a life she loved.....and she ate what she wanted....and she lived and loved for almost a century. Mostly eating Ice Cream for the last 8 years.
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my mother also takes megace(megastrol) and has gained 25 lbs since she moved in with us a year and a half ago..from 117 to 132…it may be worth giving it another shot
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I make my Mumm Vanilla "Milkshakes"...always with premium high-calorie ice cream and heavy whipping cream. The best part is that I can sneak in a whole bunch of healthy stuff like protein powder, coconut oil (supposed to help memory loss) greens, fresh or frozen fruits, carrots and celery, flax seed, oil, chia seeds, gelatin, etc. I also made her a chocolate spinach milkshake the other day...she was none the wiser until I told her and then she was still okay with it. I tasted it and couldn't taste the spinach at all.
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Holy Cow sometimes lack of appetite and weight loss can be a sign of depression.
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I finally decided not to worry so much about what Mom is eating. I still use Elena's advice about trying to make it more fun and introduce some different foods into her diet. I have to make sure that I make a dessert for dinner each night that she eats after dinner and before bed....it holds her sleeping pill!!!!! She refuses to take any pill that will allow her to sleep so we have to run around each night making sure that dessert is ready to go and searching for new and different things to eat, although she loves ice cream so even if it was ice cream she would eat it!

We are making it an everyday occurrence to eat lunch outside together. She only eats 1/4 of a sandwich, but I make sure she has potato salad or fruit maybe a couple chips or yogurt and a cup of milk. It seems like if we are looking at the nature and talking, she forgets what she is doing and she eats. When we sat at the dining room table or I was in a hurry trying to get multiple things done at once, she would lose interest and not eat.

I am trying to clean off the patio and get an umbrella and see if perhaps we could eat dinner out there periodically as well before it gets too hot.

I know logically that as we age our appetite diminishes and yes it is caused by a lack of exercise, medications, boredom and maybe even the lack of will to continue to live. I guess I just have to accept the fact that I am doing what I can, the best I can and if or when she passes away i will at least know that I did what I could while she was here. As a care giver I have to try and control most all situations but in the end we really have no control over life and death, it is just realizing this and accepting it that can be hard.
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My mom is now having more issues eating. We are now taking the advice of feeding more meals and more frequently. Where I used to give her yogurt at lunch for calcium, it's now a mid-afternoon snack. A piece of fruit is yet another snack, and no longer dessert. Cookies are even yet one more snack and not attached to a meal.

And I do sometimes have to have the "eat or you'll die" discussion with her. She doesn't have a great memory but I think it kinds of sinks in and I do it both in a nice way and also repetitively. While my mom has a bad memory, there are actually things that sink-in. If I ask her, she doesn't really remember how to answer me, but she'll remember to do it. It's hard to explain, but it's not as simple as a yes/no remember/not-remember kind of thing with her (and lots of other people, either).
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My 84 yr old Dad was put on Remeron as well. The thing that I found that my Daddy will take is the nutritional vanilla shake "Boost", he likes it really cold and thinks it is a shake. The other thing he eats is Reese's cups. If he only eats one or two bites of 3 meals and gets 3 boosts and reese's cups, he maintains his weight.
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Sorry Ashlyne I thought you might be seeking solutions but now I realize the time for that is long since gone and mum is marching to her own band and is determined to continue as it suites her just fine. I may be wrong but stick by my first comment that she is not yet ready to shut down. She'll do that when she is good and ready. Bloody mindedness gives a person a lot of strength. Stay home and take care of yourself. Hugs
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Veronica there are 60 residents in the nursing home, 3 meals a day and 2 choices at all meals. With 60 people to get fed they will certainly not cater to one individual or serve her in her room where she hides in self isolation 24/7. The rest of the residents aren't good enough for her to associate with. Maybe we could get Donald Trump to move in there? lol

She's determined she be allowed to sleep in and be served breakfast when she wakes up, whenever that might be. Unfortunately she's been a narcissist with delusions of grandeur her whole life. She has no sense of smell and hasn't for a very long time. She's given a protein drink at least once a day but mostly refuses to drink it. Even if I ran down there twice a day she'd still refuse to eat or drink but, loving the attention, she'd keep the behaviour up, probably escalating that behaviour to see just how far she could push everyone. You can take a horse to water but ...

Physical issues we can deal with. The nursing home staff and RNs have been there, done that, with those who are mentally ill (Dementia/ALZ) a thousand times but for us mere mortals there's no dealing with mental illness when all reasoning has gone out the window.
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