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While shopping for last nights meal we decided that Spag Bol would make a change. ~~Bought fresh meat. Started to cook our evening meal When my husband asked what was I cooking. I replied We decided to have Spag Bol tonight. Immediately he turned his nose up and told me "Idon't want that.what else is there".

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Alzheimer's affects taste, so my Mom will like something one day & hate it the next. Very frustrating. But it is part of the illness.
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As we get older, we lose our ability to taste. Many elderly people, and especially people with dementia, develop preferences for very sweet desserts, often to the exclusion of other foods. Don't sweat it. If they're cachectic, or suffering from extreme weight loss, this can be a blessing in disguise. Help them pack on the pounds with ice cream and milkshakes. Also think about putting in some Ensure or protein powder. Protein is necessary to replace muscles that are wasting away and healing wounds.

And, of course, consult your doctor first!
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Lots of good posts here to this question ... our observations seem to be that taste is effected by several things: various medications destroy anyone's appetite, let alone an elderly person; they truly do forget the foods that they like; they may not even remember what it is by looking at it (hard to imagine, right?). A couple of tips: remind them of what everything is on the plate and then say "this is a favorite of yours" and also small portions of a variety as you never know what will appeal to the person on that day. Make the plate as appealing as possible, have someone sit with them so they are not eating alone, put a flower on the table or tray, etc. Foods that cook a long time so it really smells up the house all day often stimulate the appetite and may bring back good memories too! Hope that helps.
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Something everyone needs to be careful of if your loved one is on blood thinners. If the appetite drops off so will their blood levels and this brings up a whole new set of problems. Mom in AL started eating less and less therefore her levels started going up and her doctor told the AL to discontinue the coumadin till her levels dropped back to normal 2.5 I just happened to be out of town when this happened and when I returned home and went to see her I noticed an unusual smell not your typical AL/NH smell as I got closer to Moms room I noticed it was coming from my Mom. I pulled the cord for help to change Mom and when the aid and I unfastened her depends it was full of blood She was bleeding out. When the nurse took her levels she was so high the meter couldn't give a proper reading. The orders were never put in her file and the AL continued to give her the thinners. In the ER she was above 10 and had to have 2 blood transfusions and plasma. She was moved to the Palliative care unit and I was given two choices continue the coumadin and she would continue to bleed out or stop the coumadin but because she had an artificial value the blood will thicken and collect around the value and or throw a clot. She was move to a Hospice home to pass and instead she got better so she was asked to leave. Hospice did a wonderful job helping to find her a place to go but I decided to bring her to my home where I was blessed to have her for 11 weeks before she died. That being said her taste changed and her dementia got worse or visa versa not sure which took the turn first. I tried everything from every baby food there is to mash potatoes with gravy to milk shakes. After Mom passed and I got around to cleaning out the frig I realized I did everything I could possibility do to give her what she wanted but nothing tasted right in the end.
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My mother-in-law had always had a very health appetite, and ate most things, as she did when she was in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's. When she had to go to a Dementia unit at a nursing home, after a couple of months, they had an increasingly harder time to get her to eat. My wife would feed her when she was there at meal time. They started putting her meals into a blender to make it easier for her to eat, but it wasn't very appetizing. She got to the point that she just refused to eat anything. My wife tried to feed her some foods she had always liked, like Jello, but she wouldn't taste any of it. About a week before she passed away, she locked her lips shut when my wife tried to coax her to eat just one bite of Mom's favorite food, ice cream. She hadn't known us for a long time, so the big surprise was that she addressed my wife by name. "I said No, Phyllis!" Shortly after that she went to bed and never got up. Not all Alzheimer's patients follow this pattern, thankfully. I've been told of some who, when not under constant care, just forget to eat., and others forget how to chew. Each case is different and each one is difficult to care for, because of the unpredictability.
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My husbands tastes changed. Things he enjoyed before he had alzheimers he would not touch. Things he refused to eat before, now they seemed pretty good. His appetite got bad, I was having hard time finding things he liked. He lost so much weight. Doc prescribed depression med, side effect was increase in appetite. Now the poor guy eats anything I put in front of him!!
Comparing an adult with dementia to a child is not quite right. A child can be taught. A child will probably know when they are so hungry, they will eat most anything. Telling an Alzy 'no more until tomorrow' probably isn't going to work.
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The answer to your question is yes.
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My mother has been a vegeterian for approximately 40 years. Now that she is in the middle stages of Dementia, she often leaves the veggies on the plate and eats all of the carb or protein that is served with them. Also, she is really into sweets when she used to only eat a "treat" every once in a while in her earlier years. She naps often throughout the day and each time she wakes, she thinks it's morning and makes herself a english muffin with peanut butter. She probably makes 4 of these a day, actually eats about 1 half all total. She never thinks dinner foods sound appetizing because she ALWAYS thinks it's morning.
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Yes, and do not get upset. There senses are not like they used to be, so just say, "What would you like dear?" Cook whatever you were cooking and put it in the fridge. Tomorrow will be another day, another decision...
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I also should mention that fact that, most elderly people are infected with candida which makes them to crave for sweets and bread. Please, bring healthy snacks to your elderly parents and tell them there are no cookies in the pantry. Yes, it's easy to give them what candida is asking for.... but, if you saw once any old person affected by that fungus to the point that it's eating them alive, you would change your mind about eating sugar!
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Not much to do with Alzheimer's. As we age (or I should say grow!), our taste buds change according to: medications, environment, preferences, food industry games with food fillers/additives, etc.... When I came to USA 22 years ago I found out that the same food tastes different here. My "likes" changed. I had to experiment in my kitchen for a long time to find what I like. Now, as my life style had changed, I learned that, after eating organic GMO-free food, I can't go back to greasy/fatty/salty products offered in most store for our consumption: my stomach does not have an agreement with most food from those shelves. So, my diet changed... and my health too.
So, here are few factors really affecting our eating habits: medicine, seasons, environment, age, our energy level, our physical activities, and most of all -- the food itself served. Yes, addictive ingredients in that waffles+syrup, french-fries (grease and sodium) + ketchup (nuclear - never age because of all preservatives), microwaved food from frozen department, everything processed to the point that you can't even recognize the origin of the food, will eventually affect and alter our taste.
How can we stay alive and healthy if we consume "dead" food?
I had a 98 y/o resident who told me once: "there is nothing better for your mouth than a fresh crunchy cucumber picked from the garden..." I agree with her!
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My husband wind eat any green veggies unless they have mayo on them in the from of salads. He likes the salads from Giant that have different dressings. He truly eats sweets all day long! Has only gained about 10 pounds. First I have ever seen him gain in 36 years!
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This is very common as their memory start to fail them they don't remember what they like. This issue will only get worse so all you can really do is make them their meal and hope that they accept it. Try to be creative in serving it make it attractive, don't put too many different things on the plate as this will only confuse him more. Don't overload portions as his appetite may not be the same as it used to be. Remember that he is falling back into a child like phase so you will have to be more like a mom and insist on him eating, tell him if he eats he will get a reward as they usually enjoy their sweets. Good luck
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After 9 years of taking care of mom at home we had to put her in a nursing home. Her appetite up til then was very weird. She had already been disliking what she used to love to eat. The only things she would eat were eggo waffles (that she had never eaten before) pizza and bologna sandwiches. ( another thing she never ate. it was always ham.) Mom insisted she never ate meat but if you gave it to her she ate it. It was cause we didnt tell her it had meat. She would eat bacon but said she didn;t like ham. Last I knew bacon was from a pig.
Now since she has been in the nursing home about 18 months she has lost around 30 lbs. She barely eats at all. A couple bites is the most at any meal. Always says she will eat when she gets hungry. Only rarely she will eat everything on her plate. I think that the not eating is definitely due to the Alshiemers. Mom is at the stage now that she doesn't recognize us. And she is so frail from not eating that she needs help to steady her when walking. Which I assume is from not eating.The only thing she regulary will drink is coffee. But she will say how hot is when she first gets it then shortly will say it is not hot. Saturday I went to get her another cup because she said it was too cold to drink. The cup was still quite warm so I know the coffee was. I brought back the fresh cup and again it was too hot.before she was done drinking she asked me if it was okay to leave a little bit in the cup. I believe mom is in the late stages of the disease (mainly due to not recognising us) But her not eating seems to be one of the symptoms as over eating can be too. I was able to get her to eat 3 girlscout cookies by waiting 5 minutes in between and asking her if she would like to try one.
She has always loved ice cream and would eat it for a meal at times but she will no longer eat it. She always says she could use a hot cup of coffee even if she just had one. If we get her one (in between meals) she won't drink but one sip. So the only thing I can say is just go with the flow as EVERYTHING will change from what it was. God Bless
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This is very typical of many types of dementia, that foods that were tempting are no longer palatable. They often go through phases were they start wanting to eat only certain foods, sometimes at only certain hours. My husband, who will eat almost anything now, went through a phase where he would only eat certain things for months on end. It started gradually, but the list of what he wouldn't eat grew and grew. At his worst, he was down to only drinking Diet Coke, fruit punch and coffee and eating only bacon, peanuts, cheddar cheese, dill pickles, fries from McDs with tons of catsup and M&Ms. If I fixed him anything else with these items, it would just sit there. He lost 30 pounds and had stomach problems, but refused to eat normally. I just kept providing what he wanted in mass quantities. This lasted for about a year and he finally was hospitalized for ulcers but still refused to eat in the hospital. I guess the doctors finally saw what I has been dealing with and gave him an injection, just one shot, to increase his appetite. He became ravenous and started eating tomatoes and sandwiches, then salads. After that, his diet went back to normal, except he wanted the same meal for breakfast everyday.
I'll never know what switched off and then on again in his brain, but he hasn't gone back to that in 6 years. I have heard and read that others have had loved ones with food obsessions or dislikes, but none were this extreme. I hope you don't have to go through this with your husband, but be prepared and just play along. On a good note, he had been a pack-a-day smoker for 40 years and one day just threw a pack in the trash saying it didn't taste right and never smoked again. I figure this behavior must be something that shows the part of the brain that is damaged, either reducing appetite or changing the way things smell or taste. Or with some patients, it might be part of the OC or childish controlling behavior that is common in dementia patients.
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I also put the meal on the table. If my husband decides that he doesn't like it, I do not cook something else for him. Most times, he ends up eating it and decides he likes it.
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You are dealing with a child-like mentality, and when he is in an oppositional phase, you could offer him Prime Rib and he would refuse it. Four-year-old children are famous for "I don't wanna...". Now the choice is whether you cook several meals a night, or you say " Oh. OK. I'm sorry honey. The next meal is 8AM tomorrow". And leave it on the table. You may think this is mean, but by drawing your boundaries early in the game, you preserve a certain sanity for both of you. I got the very same statement from one of my girl scouts at camp. When I told her, OK, the next meal is at noon, she decided to eat.
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