Mom likes to sleep in and doesn't go down for breakfast. Now she is skipping lunch too. Do we stop providing snacks and cereal? - AgingCare.com

Mom likes to sleep in and doesn't go down for breakfast. Now she is skipping lunch too. Do we stop providing snacks and cereal?

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She is in assisted living where she has to eat restaurant style and go to a dining room. We have been providing cereal, milk, bananas, bread and peanut butter. We just found out she is not going down for lunch either because she eats breakfast late. The only meal she is going down for is dinner. They quit serving breakfast at 10 which is the time she gets up. We are concerned about nutrition, She does have dementia. Suggestions please!!!

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My mother (in a NH) will go for breakfast and occasionally supper but increasingly not lunch and snacks away on cookies and chocolate. Fruit is ignored and thrown out. I'd take her a nice lunch from time to time but she eventually refused it. She's 87, unable to sit up or stand by herself and her mind is completely gone. She may not have long left and her munchies are the only thing that seems to give her some comfort. If she wants to go out in a blaze of cookies & chocolate so be it.
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Ashlynne can I just say that I also want to go out in a blaze of cookies and chocolate like your mom??? That's one of the best things I've read in a while on this site!! YAAAAY for cookies and chocolate!! :)
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Thinking about the situation you describe, I would do exactly as your mother does under the circumstances. I don't have dementia but am an introvert. I function well in society but have to limit contacts in order to maintain mental balance.

Your mother's diet sounds fine and it might ease your worry if you buy for her the high-protein varieties of cereal and bread. And if she's eating cereal, does that mean she also can tolerate milk? All good.

Under the circumstances you might want to celebrate that she goes down for the evening meal. This is impressive. (I wish my own mother were as functional as yours.)

Relax, enjoy visits with Mom and don't bug her about meals. Sounds like she's doing very well. Blessings to all of you for peaceful relationships.
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I agree with Gigi11, some people, not my mom, but myself, really appreciate my alone time. When I get up in the morning I don't want to be sitting across the table from anyone, that is me, we are all individuals. Don't they have kitchenettes in assisted living facilities? Why can't she have bananas, blueberries and bran flakes with skim milk and toast in her own spot? If she watches tv late into the morning she'd get up later and sounds like what she is doing is having brunch. She does go for the main meal so that is good. I'd provide everything for her to be comfortable, she is going to main meal and can be social there, the only thing is she is paying for these two meals, so in the scope of things how much does that really matter.
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Actually, cbhillman, there are studies that show we would ALL be better off sleeping until we wake naturally. Unfortunately for our complex inter-dependent society to work, many people need to wake up to an alarm clock. I hope to heck nobody is setting alarm clocks for me in my old age, whether I develop dementia or not!

I have already told my kids that if they place me somewhere that I have to listen to televisions blaring all over the place I WILL come back and haunt them. Now I am going to add another threat: You place me where they get me up at 7:00 am for breakfast, and I might not even wait until I die to start haunting you! :-)
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My idea of heaven on earth is: sleeping in until I want to get up; not having to eat anything but what I want (chocolate, fried foods and salty snacks); drinking the finest wine and bourbon; hanging with the people I want to hang with (no one else) and not have to work. Let the poor woman enjoy the rest of her time on earth. We are too focused on physical nutrition but at 82, 89, 92 who cares?...lets enjoy the end of life1
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As Gigi says, not everyone would want to have restaurant style meals three times a day, every day. Eating brunch in her room and dinner in the dining hall sounds perfectly acceptable to me. If she'd like it you could consider having her lunch delivered to her room at the earliest time it is available, and consider that her breakfast. But if she prefers the independence of making her own brunch, I don't see that as a problem.

She wants to sleep until 10? Sounds good to me. She is "retired" -- I think having a schedule that suits her should be a goal!
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I agree with Gigi11 and Madeaa- a lot of elderly people have a decrease in appetite, and it just doesn't take as much for them to feel full. For some folks, not sleeping well at night often results in them getting up late, so they wind up eating breakfast nearer to lunch- but she is going down for dinner, so perhaps the two meals a day are enough for her.
It seems to me that you don't need to worry too much at this point. I think the other suggestions of keeping her fridge stocked with healthy, nutritious snacks, juices and flavored waters would be a smart way to go. Watch her weight- if she appears to be losing weight or getting weaker, then you know something's going on. If she seems to be maintaining well, then it would seem that whatever she's doing is working.
Several years ago, my mom and aunt moved my grandmother into an assisted living facility. She was in the beginning stages of dementia, but not to the point where she was eligible for the facility's dementia unit. My aunt started noticing that the treats she was leaving for Grandma were going fast- specifically the ice cream treats. Well, we figured out that my grandma was forgetting to eat, so when she felt "peckish" she'd root around in the freezer for a treat. We wound up upping her care level so the staff would come and get her for meals. She'd often tell them she wasn't hungry, but she was social, and the staff would tell her that she would be missed at the table. She'd get down to dinner, "just to visit a spell" but the smells and sights of the food would stimulate her appetite, amd she would wind up eating the meal eat just fine.
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I learned from a Ph.D. nurse practitioner - who specializes in seeing people with dementia - that studies show people with dementia do better if allowed to sleep until they awaken on their own. In fact, some nursing homes that are geared to people with dementia now do not wake residents for breakfast but allow them to eat whenever they wake up. Now, my mom lived in a retirement complex (not necessarily the best place for someone with dementia but that was the POA;s doing) and I was her 24/7 caregiver. I never EVER woke my mom so we could make it downstairs to breakfast. I let her sleep until she woke up naturally. So - while some still adhere to the "early to rise" idea, please know that for a person with dementia, early to rise is not the best option!
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I am 73 and my health is good other than age related conditions. I lost my mom and husband this year, six weeks between them. I was my husbands caregiver for 12 years he was a considerate man and tried to make it as easy for me as he was able. My only consolation now is being able sleep and wake up when I need to, eat when I am hungry and eat what my appetite wants at the time. I plan more for a day than I accomplish but follow up the next day I feel up to it. For me this is one of the blessings of old age. May everyone have this opportunity.
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