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She's 84 and has dementia

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It's called a death spiral. My mom did the same. The less they eat, the weaker they are and the less likely they will eat. Mom bottomed out at 80 and now she's back to 110ish. What was the solution? Adult nutritional drinks and ice cream. It's all about the calories. Once she popped back up above 100 she's been eating pretty normally again.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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Is she doing better?

I would encourage her to eat and feed her whatever she wants.

Have you had her evaluated for hospice yet? They can help you as they help her. It's not always the end, some people get better and graduate from hospice. But if her end is near, they will help keep her comfortable and provide the family with support.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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My Mom hasn't eaten much going on 5 months now. She is very very thin. I am amazed how she is still alive. The only thing she really cares to drink when we go see her is hot chocolate and tea sometimes. She is on Hospice. It's my understanding that at the end of life a lot of elders stop eating. I've also read that it is not good to try and force them to eat.

It's very difficult to watch them decline like this.
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Reply to Caregiverhelp11
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Can I ask a question?
Are you asking her if she is hungry?
If I ask mom, are you hungry? Want to eat? She says no every time.
But, if I bring her food and say...
Here's your breakfast.
She will most likely eat it.
Hope this helps.
Sparkles
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Reply to sparkles87
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You haven't said how advanced her dementia is so I'm going to offer a few strategies to increase calories

- always think of the highest calorie option when preparing food: full fat cheese and yogurt, nut butters, olive oil or butter on her veggies, cream soups that actually have cream in them etc
- keep portions tiny so she doesn't feel overwhelmed and offer many snacks throughout the day, if they are always at hand she may nibble
- more than once I've read where someone has said they weren't hungry yet cleaned their plate after being asked to join everyone at the table
- junk food like potato chips or ice cream etc is calorie dense and delicious
- beverages are calories too, think cream and sugar in coffee, hot chocolate made with milk and...
- smoothies, there are so many calorie boosting smoothie recipes on line
- and finally, supplements like ensure, boot or carnation instant breakfast

I just wanted to add - a lot of the people with dementia at mom's nursing home seemed to forget how to eat even when the were hungry, they needed a lot of encouragement. My own mother needed to be fed long before she ever needed the nursing home, she lost the motivation and desire to eat early on.
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Reply to cwillie
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I agree. It may be time for hospice or keep trying various snack type foods.
Good luck
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Reply to OldSailor
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Part of the disease process at the end includes not eating. You can try to offer non healthy food like ice cream. If she still refuses, it may be time for a hospice consult
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Reply to MACinCT
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