If so, what can we do? We have tried everything in the Dementia books, and the information I've found online. My grandmother, who is 93, is getting weaker and can barely walk at this point, we give her Ensure plus to keep her sustained. She's lost quite a bit of weight and I'm starting to worry, whenever we take her to the doctor she acts perfectly fine and the doctor just ignores what we're saying. Every article I've read regarding this says that this is a way for the patient to "let go" and I seriously doubt that is what she is doing, she's extremely clingy to us and is constantly telling us she doesn't want to die, I'm at my wits end and I just want to help her to be and stay healthy.

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As your grandmother is 93 having early stage dementia, it is normal for her to refuse food due to age factors. There can be many factors for it like a sudden change in taste, desire for eating something different, etc. A dementia patient could join a memory care community to know the different circumstances and stages of dementia. Apart from this, a memory care retirement community can also improve the condition of a dementia patient and provide the care needed to keep his or her dementia under control.
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Yes, loss of appetite can occur early in dementia or at any other point. It can be from forgetting how to feed oneself and being embarrassed to try. It can be from a feeling of slight nausea or fullness. It can be from a change to taste buds or from a loss of smell. It can be (especially later on) from issues with swallowing. The brain simply isn't interpreting signals from the rest of the body correctly.

If she will drink Ensure, perhaps she will like homemade shakes also -- or better. My husband liked ice cream with a banana and chocolate sauce and peanut butter in a blender with enough milk to make the right thickness. I usually added an envelope of Carnation Instant Breakfast. Peaches were another favorite.

Has she been diagnosed with dementia, or it this your own observation? Since she says she doesn't want to die, perhaps she would cooperate with seeing a geriatric psychiatrist or a behavioral neurologist if she hasn't already.
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Loss of appetite was one of the early red flags I missed with my mother, way before she had any hint of dementia. I would get annoyed that she hardly ate the meals I had prepared but had no clue that she was becoming physically frail because of it.
As the others have mentioned, you need to understand the cause of the problem before you can address a solution. Bad teeth? Bad taste in the mouth? Trouble swallowing? Just a lack of appetite or feeling full all the time? A combination of all of them?
Sometimes when my mom has finger foods placed in front of her she will eat it up even though she says she isn't hungry, mostly she would not eat at all unless we spoon feed her (but she so far has never refused to open her mouth), and some meals consist of nothing but ensure.
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As CM says, how much weight, as a total number AND as a percentage of her previous weight?

Has she had a swallow study done?

What explanation does the doctor give for her lack of appetite? There are medications that address this. Is she seeing a geriatrics doctor? If not, perhaps you should find one who will address her concerns.
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How much weight has your grandmother lost, and over how much time has she lost it?

I'm sure you do want to help your grandmother as much as you can, and I'm sure you do want her to get better and stay healthy.

But she is 93. What has the doctor said about her weight loss? Any investigations, or other health difficulties?
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Dear SleeplessInSpur,

I know you love your grandmother and its very hard to see her in this condition. Do you think she might need to be hospitalized and given a feeding tube? I know its scary to see her losing weight. With my dad he had heart failure. He starting eating less and less. I didn't understand this and tried and tried to get him to eat. I tried to tempt him with all his favorite foods to no avail. I know its hard. I hope the doctor might be able to help as well.
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