Is it normal for Alzheimer's patients to ask for food they normally hate? -

Is it normal for Alzheimer's patients to ask for food they normally hate?


I'm the caregiver for my 91 year old Grandmother with Alzheimer's. She has been sleeping almost a straight 24 hours, and when she woke up she kept asking for stuff she normally hates, such a spicy sausage. Then when I make it for her, she loses interest and just stared at the wall. We've done this for 5 meals until I finally got her to eat half a piece of toast with butter. Then she fell back asleep. Is this normal? I'm not new to caregiving, I've been doing it for 15 years but this is my first alz. This is really weird to me, and I'm starting to get worried.

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Atypical situations ARE Alzheimer's.
Helpful Answer (0)

Dear Kay, Kay13;
Please simply prepare whatever grandmother likes to eat. I would suggest ignoring her 'unusual' food requests. Honestly, after caring for an Alzheimer spouse for 10 years, generally speaking, they do NOT know what they like, can't distinguish one food from another, or what they are eating. For example, my husband loves mac/cheese, but will ask for Twinkies and spinach. He doesn't mind Twinkies but hates spinach. Always has. Sometimes he will not eat anything. Unless your grandmother has serious health issues, I would prepare a nourishing meal she has always enjoyed. If she doesn't eat, put the food in the frig and try later. Does Grandmother like milkshakes or Boost? Perhaps it is time to have a serious discussion with grandmother's doctor concerning the lack of nourishment.
Her sleeping so much would be a concern unless she is near the end of her time and requires a lot of medication. Perhaps you could brighten Grandmother's days by sharing past photos, songs, and reminisce about places she has been and people she loves. Do you have a pet? Hold her hand, look into that loving Grandmother face and smile. A smile is so reassuring as difficult as it may be at times. Be patient with Grandmother. Point to photos and tell her who is in the picture. If you know when and where the photos were taken, all the better. Grandmother will not remember. Good luck. God Bless.
Helpful Answer (3)

Hello, KayKay! With dementia, there is no normal. Forget about logic. Focus on safety and comfort, and "creating moments of joy."
Helpful Answer (8)

My mother has late state dementia. She was always a tea drinker. I have tried giving her all the different teas she used to like. She doesn't like any of them. She asked for a cup of coffee, which I am making for her now. I know she won't like it. She never does. I have generally settled on cocoa, which she likes.
Helpful Answer (3)

My husband's initial dementia breakdown happened in a restaurant. He ordered something he does not like, and when the little pot of hot water and a tea bag came he couldn't remember how to make tea! That was at the very beginning for him. So, yes, persons with dementia may ask for something they don't like.

Does Grandmother have an acute illness, such as flu or a sore throat or an infection? Is she sleeping so much because she is sick?

Sleeping more than 20 hours a day (without an illness to explain it) may be an indication that the end is near. Does that seem consistent with your other observations? Does bringing hospice in for an evaluation seem a reasonable step at this point? This may be temporary, but if it is not having hospice available to explain what is happening and help you keep Grandma comfortable may be very beneficial.
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