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Everything we try she says is poison.

Maybe try just not to focus on it too much. That will make her obsession with it worse. Eating problems are not at all unusual at the end stages of life. Offer things you know she likes when you are able; don't be discouraged if she doesn't like it. Ask her if there is anything she would like. Not much else you can do. If she likes milkshakes and things, slip in some ensure or other supplement.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Does she mean that literally? Does she think that her food is poison? In that case, she needs to mean seen by someone who can evaluate her mental state and perhaps suggest medication for her delusions.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Give her anything she wants and don't worry about a healthy, balanced diet.
I't not clear whether things taste off to her - that could be a side effect of medication or just aging - or if she is paranoid, in either case mention it to the doctor.
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Reply to cwillie
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My mother loved salmon and potatoes then all of sudden she didn’t like that meal anymore. As her dementia and old age progressed then her appetite faded to 2 meals a day and plenty of water to 1 meal and 10 hours of sleep a day. This was a sign of her end of life stage so , not to alarm you, but do your research to know what these end of life signs are so you can assess where your parent is in her stage of life. These signs could be a lack of appetite, sleeping more, oxygen levels decline, not wanting to do those activities they enjoyed , and other non medical or physical signs associate with end of life. I wrote an article on this bc we as caregivers get worried when we see a change in habits and doctors only see the physical signs of a disease and not the indicators associated with end of life so I had to do my own research bc my mother was not sick but had a cognitive disease and she wasn’t on any meds. Her numbers were great but I know my Mom and I knew this is a non medical issue which prompted me to do this research. As the body and mind decline so does the appetite so this could be an end of life sign and the best you can do is meet her where she is and not put normal routines on an aging parent because it will just frustrate or scare you. Just accept this is where she is and make a decision that I will accommodate her on this level of her care .Acceptance will save you a lot of grief and frustration bc we as caregivers cannot control our parents health if it is due to natural occurrences as they age .I hope this helps you and if you would like a copy of my article ,please message me and I’ll send you a copy . God bless!!
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Reply to fellowcaregiver
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I expect (certainly hope!) that mother is applying the most vehement and pejorative term she can call to mind, rather than literally believing that the food is poisonous. It is exactly the word my MIL's mother used whenever someone tried to cajole her into eating when she wasn't in the mood. Occasionally accompanied by flinging, just to underline her point.

This is terribly difficult; because even when you know, rationally, that it isn't a personal criticism, food = love and so of course it hurts when your best efforts are rejected.

What have you tried? Everything, yes! - but from what angle? Known favourites, nursery food, tempting morsels, her own recipes?

It is always worth checking that her mouth is comfortable - and clean! - and that she is able to swallow.

And then once you really have tried everything, remember that her requirements are also radically less than they used to be, and that reduced appetite is part of dementia's bleak territory. You can only do your level best.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hi Greymare, Like the others say, it just might be part of the disease progression. But I know it's hard to watch her not eat. You didn't say if she is still able to physically feed herself or not. If she is, try these little tricks that might help a little: make sure there is good color contrast between the food, plate and table so she can see the food better. Put only a small portion of food on the plate, like 20%, and only one type of food on the plate at a time so it's not too confusing. Keep the room calm and not too noisy. If she only wants dessert, then so be it, it's not a bad way to go! Don't give too many choices. Try talking to her during mealtime to distract her, tell her stories, and as you talk, you give her a spoonful of food. These little tricks might be helpful, but please don't stress too much over her oral intake. My thoughts are with you..
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Reply to SofiaAmirpoor
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I will agree with the others. Let her eat whatever she will eat. A healthy diet is no longer the issue. Nutrition is now the issue. also observe her eating. If she seems to take too long to chew something, it just might be too tough for her to chew or swallow. Or she may be developing problems swallowing.

My Luz lost and amazing mount of weight in the last year. 169# down to 140#. She just kept eating less and less. Some of the food seemed to be to tough or tiring for her to chew. I would feed her whatever she would eat and I left soft snacks out for her to munch on all day long. She liked the frozen cherries.

I tried the nutrition drinks. She did not like the bottled stuff but would drink the half strength powdered version I mixed for her.

I also added the gummy vitamins. Those she liked and it reduced the struggle with her taking pills/meds.
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Reply to OldSailor
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You could try a milkshake with an egg mixed in with it. You could make it in front of her, so she can see that you can’t get poison inside an egg. I did this with a difficult child eater, and managed to convince her that this is how milkshakes were always made, apart from in shops that wanted to skimp.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Grandma1954 Jul 5, 2019
I would be very careful with raw eggs. Some of the pasteurized ones might be alright but anyone older, poor immune system should not have raw or under cooked food. Just to limit the possibility of a food borne illness. Last thing you need is a person with Dementia with a gastric upset. This is from experience, my Husband picked up Norwalk Virus from Adult Day Care. Did about 40 loads of wash in 4 days!
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This might be due to changing taste and she can only describe it as "poison"
Let her eat whatever she wants.
Try small portions of lots of different things.
Some of the "Protein drinks" I might have to agree with her..they taste pretty nasty.
Milk shakes, pudding, fruit but be careful of the slippery stuff that can slide down the wrong way very easily.
Usually taste buds might revert back to the first thing we liked...sweet stuff.
Depending on her age, level of dementia and possible other medical conditions I would not get real stressed out about getting a "balanced meal" into her.
She will at some point need all soft foods then she will stop feeding herself then she will stop eating. So if she will eat anything at this point go for it!
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Does your mother have a UTI?
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Reply to earlybird
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Get the BOOST shakes. The newer ones have 20 or 22 grams of protein. They can have problems mustering up the effort to swallow or suck through straw.
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