Has anyone else run across a sugar problem?

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My mom is constantly after sweets. She eats an entire bag of Werther’s hard candy in one sitting and then looks for more. She woke me up at 1am a couple of nights ago eating hard candy. I was scared to death she was going to choke. I hid the candy yesterday and she threw a fit last night that she didn’t have any candy. I got her a bowl of ice cream and although she was happy with that, as soon as it was gone, she was tearing the place apart looking for candy. I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Well, at 3:20 this morning she had her first fall here. I had gotten her to the toilet, changed her dirty depends and told her I would be right back, I was going to straighten up her covers so she could get back in bed. I have done this before with no problems, so I didn’t think twice about it. I came back in the bathroom and she had blood running done her nose. She said she hit it on the doorknob trying  to get up off the toilet. I got her cleaned up. She had about a half inch cut across the bridge of her nose. I feel like such a failure. I know I shouldn’t. Things like this will happen, but I still feel bad. Sorry just rambling. I’m very tired. Thanks for listening.
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Reply to momsrok
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Thank you so much for your suggestions! No, she’s not diabetic and She swallows fine. She gets obsessed over things very easily, so I believe you may be right on that. She got her first great grandbaby four months ago and obsesses over the baby being kidnapped. She is now picking at a sore on the inside of her nose until it bleeds then shows me that she’s bleeding and picks at “lint” on her clothes . I’ve tried redirecting her, reassuring her and taking her out, thinking she is bored, but nothing has worked. I end up getting frustrated and walking out of the room, which then causes her anxiety that she can’t see me anymore. She does stop her obsessive behavior then.
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Reply to momsrok
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If she can chew and swallow still, then try those little snack packs of very thin petite carrots which have natural sweetness 

Or maybe keep little pb&j sandwiches without the crust at ready 

Finger foods are always a good option - bananas?
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Reply to MsMadge
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You are making me hungry, 97! I'd love that.

But is it any less of a choking hazard than hard candy? People who are prone to choking (and many with dementia are) can choke on nearly anything, including water and their own saliva. Would choking on a mandarin orange be better than choking on a Werther’s? I don't know! Maybe a speech pathologist could give an informed opinion about that.

So-called diabetic candy is just as much a choking hazard as any hard candy. And it seldom is better for people who have diabetes, but that is not your issue, is it?

This does sound like an obsession. Sometimes they get replaced by a different obsession. Let's hope the next one is less stressful for you!
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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We have a quick sweet treat for my aunt that she hasn’t tired of and might make a nice alternative for your mom. We mix it up once a week.
It’s an old fashioned fruit salad. We store it in the frig in separate containers. We use the twist off top containers that hold about two cups each.
It’s a simple recipe. A large can of fruit cocktail, another of pineapple chucks, a can of mandarin oranges (all drained) a cup of unsweetened coconut. A couple of cups of miniature colored marshmallows, a 1/4 cup chopped pecans and a small container of sour cream. Sometimes less sour cream depending on fruit. To your taste. Mix well and divide into containers and refrigerate. You can switch up the fruits to ones your mom prefers. Aunt really likes peaches and pears so we substitute that sometimes instead of the fruit cocktail. Some people add sweetened coconut and sugar but it’s sweet enough with the marshmallows. So if you have something like this in the frig she might gravitate to it. There is enough texture to make it interesting.
She also likes cottage cheese and peaches. The key is to have things like this on hand for when she wants something sweet.
If I buy Aunt a box of chocolates she eats those in a sitting.
Sugar addiction is a real thing and causes the highs and lows of mood.
And as you’ve mentioned she only wants more when her stash is gone.
This fruit salad has plenty of sugar still but also has some protein from the sour cream and pecans and nutrients from the fruit and allows for a lower or slower glycemic bounce.
It’s a little more trouble for you but less worry.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Sugar can be an addictive substance. It releases dopamine in the brain's pleasure and reward centers.

This is just a theory, but....I think there is something that happens to people with dementia where they lose the ability to regulate their craving for addictive things that release dopamine. With my mom it was cigarettes, until very recently. I weaned her off them. Before that, she would chain smoke the entire time she was awake! Now she doesn't smoke at all, or remember that she smoked.

Again, this is just my theory. But if you think there's something to it as well, maybe you could try substituting diabetic candy, little by little, and see what happens? (Like, a slow withdrawal from the addiction.)

That said, I don't know that the impact of sugar addiction on an elderly person is as hazardous as something like smoking. (Plus the main reason I wanted my mom to quit was so *I* could breathe, and to reduce the fire risk.) Unless your mom is obese or at risk of diabetes, it's probably not that dangerous, so you don't necessarily need to wean her off sugar.

I do agree that finding softer candies is probably a good idea.
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Reply to Dorianne
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I see Mom has ALZ. I know from my own experiences that people who suffer with this tend to obsess over things. I wonder if the candy she wants is an obsession rather than a real desire. Hard candy is a real choking hazard and your fears are well-founded. Maybe you could ask her doctor or other health-care person in your lives how you might be able to redirect her.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I think the first thing I'd do is get rid of the candy and replace it with something softer that isn't a choking risk. If it's in the house, she'll try to find it. Give her something better but that still satisfies her craving.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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