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My husband’s taste in food seems to be changing. Things that he used to love, like root beer floats, he doesn’t remember ever having before and he has started smothering everything in BBQ sauce now. Yesterday, I made him a teriyaki chicken and vegetable stir fry with noodles and he took a bite and said it tasted funny and wouldn’t eat it. Just about 6 months ago, he loved the dish. It’s a little difficult from day to day to figure out what he likes to eat. Is this normal? Any suggestions?

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My 94 yo mother with pretty advanced dementia is now saying that all the food she's being served tastes terrible. Except for ice cream which is delicious. And Italian subs from Jersey Mike's which are delicious too.

Yesterday, my mother was enjoying the "hotel" she was staying at (she lives in a Memory Care Assisted Living) and was planning to get dressed and walk to church today, she told me. She's wheelchair bound and hasn't been to church since 2014.

Just go with the flow of whatever your dh is saying, wanting or doing, if possible. I know how hard all this is, so wishing you the best of luck being flexible
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Reply to lealonnie1
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You do not indicate your husband’s age, but nevertheless Alzheimer’s and dementia with normal aging will reflect changes in food likes and tastes.
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Reply to Ricky6
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Yes, the brain is changing so everything changes. My mother got to the point where she only enjoyed salads, ice cream, cookies, and cake. Her brain would not allow her to chew meat at all so she became anemic quick and lost a lot of weight.
She passed from this world in April and I know the only thing that kept her alive the last 6 months of her life was sugar and lots of it. I miss sitting down with her with a big 'ol piece of chocolate cake! She would still be here if she didn't fall and hit her head so everyone please watch out for those falls. They can kill the elderly. My poor mother...
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Reply to redsnappa7764
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Jsaada5757: Imho, perhaps the connection to taste is NOT related to Alzheimer's.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Please take this with a grain of salt. My dad had Alzheimers and was diabetic. Every person is different, so what worked for us might not work for you. My dad would eat what was put in front of him, but dementia patients forget to, or have difficulties swallowing. A snickers bar would have my dad chewing on it for an hour. We gave up on a healthy diet, just get protein into him. Ice cream works wonders for people who lose their sense of taste. As others have said, sweetness is the last taste sensation to go. I had the same problem with my mom as you. I would spend hours preparing a meal for her, but it was only good for a day or 2. It was like pulling teeth to draw out of her what she wanted. My surefire standby was pork ribs in a crock pot with brown sugar, ketchup, and a few other things boiled for 5 or 6 hours. Mom liked it because she could chew it if I cut it up fine enough. That was the secret, sweet and easy to eat. Best wishes to you and peace.
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Reply to CTYankeeinOR
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I don't remember my father complaining about not liking something he always liked, but it did happen with my MIL. I will say as dad's life was coming to an end, he was no longer hungry and would only eat a bite or two of food.

She was losing weight. She was signed up for Meals on Wheels and then one day she no longer liked the food. So the family took turns getting her meals usually ready made from the grocery store. Foods she had always been a favorite of hers, she complained she never liked. Go figure.

Just go with the flow and keep trying different foods.
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Reply to cweissp
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Just as people forget more recent memories of events, memories of food flavors can be forgotten as well. Your husband may have been a bbq sauce fan when he was younger - or he likes the sweetness in the sauce. it might be better to just have a variety of good foods and let him "try" everything, even if he puts bbq sauce on it.
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Reply to Taarna
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My 90 yo old father hated the taste of all food until we took him off some meds like that nasty Liptitor. Once we removed that not only did his demetia symptoms drastically improve but his taste buds came back!
Other reasons for lack of taste and smell is having a sinus problem. Have a doc check it out and ask about cutting out unnecessary meds. At 90 we are going for quality of life over saving his cholesterol level!
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Reply to Patti2021
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they say the last sense to lose is sweets. Before a feeding tube I had to use ice cream and protein powders -- I used the feeding tube as a last resort so she would not die of dehydration which can take weeks.
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Reply to cetude
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My mom has been going through the same thing. She will no longer eat a "meat and potato" type of meal (I think it goes back to the Depression era where meat was saved for special guests), and would prefer casserole type dishes. Now she's not eating that, either, so we've switched to omelets, which she loves. We add veggies, ham, cheese, etc. so she's getting a well balanced meal. Luckily she still likes burgers, crab cakes, and shrimp so if we order out we can order something for her, too. Mom never ate olives, and one day I took her to an Olive Garden that had just opened in our area, and she popped the olives in her mouth and said how good they were. A few days later my sister wanted to go to Olive Garden, so we took mom. I offered her the olives and she said, "Ew! I don't eat olives!" and pushed them away. It cracked me up. This past Sunday, I gave mom some cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes with her lunch and she ate every bit; Monday my sister gave her the same thing and mom said she didn't like it and wouldn't eat it! So, yes, it happens, but I don't stress over it. Her doctors are happy with her health and weight, and have told me to keep doing whatever it is I'm doing. Mom is nearly 94, has vascular dementia, and has lived with me for the past 12 years; her doctors are amazed that she's still with us, so I'm guessing we're doing something right. Good luck with your husband; I know it's not easy, so hang in there!
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Reply to JanEllen
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As stated in previous posts, our taste buds change as we age. The last taste to go is usually sweet. When a senior starts not wanting to eat, it is oftentimes because they lost the ability to taste the foods they once loved. Try sprinkling some sugar or, if they have diabetes, a sugar substitute on their food and see if they will then eat. Many times seniors will once again start eating because they can now taste the food.
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Reply to cjwilson
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i know someone mentioned he might have covid if he lost his taste. i can tell you than when I personally get a normal regular run of the mill cold......i can lose my taste for 3 or 4 days depending on how stuffed up my sinuses are. so if your loved one hasn't been around anyone that has been sick, i doubt if covid, but rather his old aged tongue is changing. wishing you luck. (this is not meant to offend anyone).
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Reply to wolflover451
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I don't think having alzheimers has all the credit for changing taste, just as we get older our taste buds change just like everything else in/on our body. If you ask him what he wants, does it give you an idea of what he might like that day. sometimes it works, other times not. you will just have to make something and hope he likes it and have something else ready just in case the taste has changed. wishing you luck.
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Reply to wolflover451
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Just like kids that get on a "kick" eating 1 type of food this can happen with dementia as well.
Not recalling a particular food might just be the process of the dementia.
Now a change in taste might indicate a symptom of COVID and he might not be able to articulate what the changes are specifically so it might be worth getting him tested particularly if he has any other symptoms like:
fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, diarrhea just to name a few.
If all checks out then just keep trying other foods. But keep a few that you know he likes. And there is nothing wrong with giving him the same meal over and over if he is enjoying it and is getting a healthy meal. Make extra, portion it out and freeze it. Thaw a meal for him and make something else for yourself if you don't want to eat the same thing.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Thanks!
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Reply to Jsaada5757
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My husband who had vascular dementia, never ate fish or seafood(other than scallops)the whole time I knew him(28 years), and it wasn't until about the last year of his life that fish was about all he wanted to eat. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and he talked about wanting fish a lot. I personally found it quite humorous.
In fact to celebrate his birthday after his death, my son and I had a fish dinner in his honor.
I found it easier when I found something he seemed to enjoy eating(like fish)to just make sure that's what was on his plate for supper.
So if your husband is now enjoying food smothered in BBQ sauce, just keep giving him foods smothered in it. There is no law saying that someone must eat something different every day, so just give him what he enjoys, and hopefully in time you too will be able to find the humor in it. Best wishes.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Jsaada5757 Sep 1, 2021
Great answer. Thanks!
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I think trying to figure out what is going on in a brain affected with Alz's is a thankless and frustrating task.

Things my dad used to love he couldn't or wouldn't gag down. It became a daily trial. I see it now in mother. She swears she doesn't eat anything, literally, but she has not lost weight or become unhealthy. She simply forgets. Also, she barely moves during the day and that will cut into her caloric needs.

My sister took her a HUGE burger, fries, shake and apple pie on her birthday. Sis said she ate every scrap. I watched her eat her entire dinner and 2 desserts at my niece's wedding dinner. I think, for her, she's just sick of cooking for herself. I get that! When DH is out of town, I just forage around. After 45 years, I'm sick of cooking.

For mom, there are always protein shakes and she loves those. I wouldn't worry too much about this.

We just make sure mom has a selection of easy to prepare foods in her apt and let her choose.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Jsaada5757 Sep 1, 2021
Thank you!
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Yes, taste and smell are effected. Usually, early on because losing these indicates a Dementia.

Have no ideas how to help. Just like with a small child, itschit and miss.
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Jsaada5757 Sep 1, 2021
Thanks!
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