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Thanks to all for the responses. If she were still only losing the 1 pound or so every 3 months like she was doing, I wouldn't worry, but 7 pounds in 3 months is not good and the doctor didn't like it either. She really likes the juices I'm making and drinks a decent glass about 3 times a day -- so I'm fine with her getting nutrition that way in addition to the Boost & yogurt. I only ever try to get small like child size portions of food in her and nothing she doesn't like and tell her she doesn't have to eat it all but some. It is nothing to do with chewing or swallowing or dehydration, I know she drinks plenty of water and she is definitely not constipated. What is interesting is about once a week when at the grocery store, we are on the East Coast, I pick up in the seafood department steamed shrimp. When she sees it I don't have to even open my mouth, she's ready to eat and has no problem finishing the plate. I'll call her from the store saying, don't eat (not that I thought she would) I'm bringing something home to eat -- just to kid her. She always says, oh, I don't feel like eating, don't bring anything. But when she sees what I have it's a different tune. So, I think I'm going to pick up some twice a week. Again, thanks, I'm going to talk to the doctor about all the things mentioned, I am to call him tomorrow on her blood work.
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Be sure she's not constipated -- that can cause lack of appetite. Also, most older people do not eat much meat -- it is not at all necessary, see how many healthy vegetarians and vegans there are in the world!
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cdeh61 .. you are exactly right. I recommended Mirtazapine which is what we call Remeron in Canada, it's just generic. It will increase the appetite!
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She could be laying around cause she is dehydrated. It was so hard to get my mom to drink water, so I used Kool-Aid, crystal lite, tang, and any other flavoring to get her to drink more. Dehydration happens more often than you might think.....and weakness is a sure sign. My mom was prescribed Megese eventually.
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My husband's aunt (96) (in his care) had similar issues. The Dr. put her on Remeron an anti-depressant with the side affect of increasing appetite, has helped a bit as her weight has at least stabilized.
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Mom has appetite problems. All she will eat is sugary items. I say why not. As long as she is eating something. Ice cream is her favorite.
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If she is on an antidepressant ask her Dr. if she can be switched to Mirtazapine, it is an antidepressant that increases the appetite for sure!
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Rebecca thanks for clarifying some things. Since she is not very active getting whatever you can get into her is a good thing, but also recognize with dementia her body is starting to shut down since this is a terminal illness. You are doing the best you can, and you are to be commended for your valiant efforts!
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Rebecca.
You are doing a wonderful job and being very creative in your mothers diet. Meat is very difficult to digest and that maybe why she is refusing it. Could you slip some eggs in there or some soft cheese. Stop arguing with her about eating she is 92 and her body knows what it is doing even if you don't agree. She is tired or at least her body is and this is very normal towards the end of life. We tend to try and make the elderly do things that we feel are good for them. Offer but don't insist. Serve tiny portions and present it on pretty china on a fine tray cloth if you have one. If she does not want to leave the couch set her meal on a side table so she can stay where she is comfortable. From a nursing point of view make sure she does not become constipated. A stool softener at night will soften the stool. The antidepressant may help but also will probably make her drowsy. There certainly are prescription appetite stimulants but putting too much food in this old body may not make her feel good. This may be a good time to talk to her about where she is on life's journey. It is a very difficult subject in our society and one we don't usually want to face but it really does help if we know what our loved ones are thinking about. The important things at this point are that she is kept pain free and is secure in her surroundings and it sounds as though you love her dearly and will go to great lengths for her well being
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becca - when you get time (haha), consider putting that updated information in the thread on the profile about your mom. Easier for members to check when answering a question for you.

I did suggest to homeopathic remedies in my previous post. They are both sprays, no pills, easy to administer, no side effects.

Is medical marijuana legal in your state? Your mom would not likely be a smoker but you can get it and add it to recipes like soup. Ask the doctor about Marinol. It's a synthetic cannabis and may have your side effects then traditional medicine. It has a generic name, but I don't know if it comes at a price or it still proprietary. Call your mom's insurance formulary.
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Thanks to all for the responses. Sorry I didn't give more info. But I had read a couple people mention they used appetite increasers but never gave the names. My Mother is 92, she weighs 95 pounds, down 7 pounds in the past 3 months. She doesn't drink alcohol, won't watch TV, so cooking shows are out -- she also won't listen to the radio or listen to her books on tape any more. All she wants to do is lay on the couch. She has started refusing to eat meat in the past month, so I have put her on Boost High protein twice a day and Greek yogurt, both of which she likes and there is no problem now getting her to take that. She doesn't like fried things or any ethnic foods. I have started juicing vegetables and fruits to get more of them in her and she likes the juices. I am doing home made soups but I'm lucky if she'll eat a cup in a sitting and getting her to eat is always a fight. Being she has gotten to the point she really doesn't want to leave the house, I am now having her sit in the sun in the back yard for a 1/2 hour a day. This week we are going to go to the senior center on one of the days they have chair exercises. I've been trying to get her to do this for a while and always no, she didn't want to go. So, I asked my brother to suggest it and now she says she'll try it out. Every day at lunch it's the same thing (she's sleeping past breakfast but does drink a Boost when she gets up), she doesn't feel good and doesn't want to eat. I try to explain she doesn't feel good because she doesn't have any food in her -- her body needs food to feel good, like a car needs gas. If I can get the equivalent of 3/4 of a regular meal into her in two sittings I feel good. 4 days ago we started her on an antidepressant, which of course won't really kick in for a while. The doctor said that might be part of it. He wouldn't prescribe an appetite increaser until he got the results of her blood work which should be tomorrow. All I can do is push and argue with her to eat. At least I know she doesn't remember the arguments, which is good.

But again, thanks to all for the responses.
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She should avoid alcohol it is an appetite suppressant. Try making some smoothies with frozen fruit and vanilla yogurt, include a half a banana in that and put it all in the blender. Also.. homemade soups can be very nutritious as they include vegetables and protein. Elderly people quite like soups because they are easy to chew.
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Try using spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, etc.) to enhance food. You don't give us any information as to the person you are cooking for, so it is really hard to answer this question sufficiently.
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just a few corrections...

those weird looking seed butters should read SESAME and SUNFLOWER

make sure her servings are colorful, attractive and EASY to eat

double the meat, DOUBLE the sour cream and guacamole
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1st of all, it would help to know your moms age, height, weight and the general state of her dementia.

That said, make sure she's being offered foods she likes.

Take I'll look at homeopathics, which may help, are mild, and have no side effects or interactions with prescription medicines: (1) King Bio Naturals Childrens Appetite Enhancer, (2) Liddell Appetite Increase Spray. You can start by looking up the product information and reviews on Amazon, then research other sources as well to compare prices (don't forget to factor in shipping costs). If you live in a location with knowledgeable health food stores or a homeopathic pharmacy, you may be able to get them to order it for you if they don't carry it.

Don't feed large meals. Depending on what should be her normal size, shoot for over 2000 calories per day divided into 6 eating sessions, that's about 340 calories average per time, so you must schedule when to eat based on what time she gets up, what time she goes to bed, and how she prefers to nap. Look for signs and indigestion, making sure she is processing the prior meal. If you think that is a problem, you can try ginger tea, green tea or digestive enzymes.

Keeping hydration is important, but don't serve liquids at the same time as the meal unless the meal is a shake or smoothie (which IS liquid, but still don't add other liquids). Green tea or peppermint tea with honey, low sodium tomato juice or V-8 or water should be served at least 1/2 to 1 hour before and eating session.

At least three of the meal sessions should consist of nutrient dense, low liquid volume (about 6 to 8 ounces) shakes or smoothies. A prepared nutritional (Ensure, Boost, etc.) are okay, a fast food real ice cream malt or shake if she likes that or something you blend up yourself. Obviously don't use any low calorie or diet ingredients when you make your own. An easy fix is dairy or plant milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc.) with half of a banana, 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter (almond, cashew, Stephanie, I send flower, peanut, etc.) and a half a teaspoon real vanilla extract.

For the other three sessions, make sure her servings are colorful, attractive and you to eat. Seniors and especially dementia people get fatigued having to chew too much or eat too long. So here again think non dieting, high calorie types of food. Unlike a dieter would, add plenty of butter to vegetables (high calorie as well as good flavor) and use high calorie vegetables, not low calorie greens (example peas instead of green beans). Puree (but not necessarily liquify) if necessary, depending on her needs.

Here's and adaptation example: my mom used to like Mexican food but couldn't hold a taco or cut an enchilada. So we went to Del Taco and ordered a taco salad without the lettuce (too crunchy and laborsome to chew), hold the crispy tortilla shell or chips, double the meat (very finely-ground hamburger), and DD sour cream and guacamole. She loved it, felt as if she had gone out to a restaurant and ate every last drop every single time.

I hope this helps, you have to get very creative.
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Watching the cooking shows gets me salivating.
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I can't recommend an over the counter medicine, but I can recommend some foods
that no one should be able to resist......such as......a chinese buffet........a huge breakfast of sausage, potatoes and eggs fried in the sausage grease.......chili dogs......fried chicken........italian meatballs........pizza........burgers/fries........the list goes on and on.......this this food in front of anyone........and they will chow down!!
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Is the person physically active? Stretches are valuable after meals to create space around the digestive organs. Walking or any movement will help digestion, thereby creating an appetite for the next meal. Avoid snacking. When the person does eat, make sure it's good nutrition -- lean meat and vegetables --and not just empty carbs.
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Most antihistamines will do it to some degree. Periactin (cyproheptadine) is one of the best, but it is generally Rx only. Zinc supplements will often do it (I have to avoid them myself for that reason); sometimes things with real ginger, not just ginger flavor, will aid gastric emptying and help a little too, and of course medical marijuana should be mentioned if you don't mind the cogntive side effects. Sweet pickles are a traditional recommendation too, though they don't have a lot of calories by themselves.

I struggle with my appetite all the time and have to keep remembering that eating when you don't feel like it is just as hard as not eating when your stomach and your brain both want you to!
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