Has your parent or spouse lost weight, a noticeable amount, as his or her memory loss has worsened?

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My partner, 85 years, was never fat. But as his memory loss has increased, he is getting thinner and thinner, despite eating a half container of ice cream every evening. He does not have other physical problems, such as a thyroid problem or diabetes.
I have seen this with my clients who have Alzheimers.
I would like to know about your experience with weight loss by a spouse or parent who has Alzheimers or memory loss due to aging. It would really be a huge help as I worry about his weight loss.
Thank you

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My wife, 76, has lost a lot of weight over the past decade. Partly on purpose, having been alarmed at weighing almost as much as I do. She accomplished this by skipping lunch. On our last visit to our doctor 3 months ago, the latter noticed that she had lost even more, dropping to 126 lbs. at 5'5". So the doctor told me to feed her an Ensure at every lunchtime, and we'll check it out next week. But she's still showing signs of dementia. Its progress is slow because of Namenda and Donezipil, but unless a way to reverse it is found, we'll be in big trouble.
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Oftentimes when elders live alone they just don't have the energy to cook for themselves. The Meals on Wheels are great initially, but fade in taste soon so that the elder doesn't even want to eat it.
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My Mom was always thin but she has lost more weight. After doing some research I ordered her Amazing Grass Green Superfood which contains healthy vitamins and minerals that my Mom mixes with goat milk (Meyenberg Powdered Goat Milk to be exact) and she loves drinking it. Sometimes she adds a banana to the smoothie. Now that my Mom has moved in with me I am cooking for her and she's eating better so I'm hoping she will put on some weight.
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AD, as my mother's memory loss and cognitive impairment progress, I notice a discrepancy in her weight. Her joints, particularly shoulders, and back are becoming bony, while the concentration of fat in her middle is rather high. She had a CT scan which revealed brain shrinkage and vascular changes. There is another variable - mom's sedentary life style, which has led to deconditioned muscles and atrophy. So, there could be a correlation between brain shrinkage from advanced dementia, of which one is memory loss, and loss of body weight which could be due to the dementia's effect on autonomic functioning or hypothalamus (I'm not sure if that's the correct area of the brain) that regulates weight. So both may be related to a third factor.
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They must be making a fortune for Ensure and Boost. Wish that they would select a healthier, less processed weight booster. It's amazing how many people fail to question their doctor's choices.
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My Mom loved french fries and ice cream toward the end. One thing I've heard too is people's taste buds don't work like they once did so adding something more flavorful to their food is a thought.

Also, when my Mom was still living it was brought to our attention by the health case worker we spoke to is when someone is old and weak, they may go to the kitchen with the intention of making themselves something to eat but may only have the energy to make a cup of tea and grab a biscuit. So having ready made food prepared ahead of time that just needs to be heated up is a thought.
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I know it is popular to diss boost and ensure type drinks on the forum, but there are many of us who are not into buying multiple ingredients then chopping, blending, and straining homemade smoothies. If your loved one doesn't mind the taste they are a nutrient dense way to pump up the calorie count, especially when you have a hard time getting them to take in enough.
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ADCaregivers: I know that you said he doesn't have thyroid problems, but are you ABSOLUTELY SURE he didn't have blood work done to determine if he was hyperthyroid? I would definitely ask his doctor to check or recheck that!
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Two things can happen. (well really 3 but we will wait on that)
1. As the person declines they forget how to eat or forget to eat.
In the late stages the body does not use food as fuel that way it did in the past so the nutritional needs are different. In particular as the person no longer is as mobile as in the past muscles begin to waste to the arms and legs begin to look much thinner. Then there is atrophy of other muscles, shoulders, in the back and in the neck and face.
2. In early stages the person my continue to eat thinking that they have not eaten. This can cause some weight gain. This can present a problem for the caregiver since it is more difficult to help the person move and if aid is needed for cleaning it makes it even more difficult. But as the stages progress they will begin to loose weight just due to atrophy of the muscles.
Last but not least...
The weight can stay pretty stable with diet and close monitoring. But at some point the weight loss will begin.
And towards the end does it really matter if your loved one wants ice cream for breakfast. If you are trying to keep weight on them give them a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. The issues of controlling cholesterol, and diabetes for that matter are far down on the list of worries. There is a good chance the Dementia will kill them before anything else, and personal opinion here I would rather have my loved one pass a bit faster due to a bowl of ice cream than linger another 6 to 12 months with dementia if that is what the outcome would be.
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CaregivingNYC, I doubt if they do read the labels, or if they do, they're probably not as cognizant or concerned as some consumers about all the "ingredients". Remember, these are often the people who think "medication" as a first response.

Or maybe the manufacturers of Boost and/or Ensure have a generous patronage program.

One of the local hospitals addressed the practice of pharmaceuticals and their reps patronizing, gifting and encouraging doctors to prescribe their meds. I don't recall the specific actions, but I do recall that some bans were put in place to control if nto prevent this eggregious practice.
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