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My mother has early onset mild dementia. She functions well with daily activity, recognizes family and can hold a conversation about the past. However, when it comes to food, she's become obsessed! It's 'What are we having for supper?" (breakfast, lunch...) then, "What did we decide on for supper", then, "What do I need to do for supper?", then "Do you think it will be enough?" - all these questions within minutes of each other...over and over. We've tried writing the answer down on white boards, sticky notes, having her repeat our answer, changing the subject...she just can't seem to process or get the thought out of her mind. It seems to be the subject of mealtime that stresses her out, and she doesn't even do the preparation any more. It's driving my dad, her primary caretaker, bonkers and, even though I know things could be so much worse, was hoping some of you might have an insight, or similar story...?


Just trying to understand.


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Found this:
'When you're tempted to lose patience with someone,
think about how patient God has been with you.'
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Reply to MamaChar
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Even though it could be much worse, it still is something I can totally understand driving your dad a bit nuts!

Just thinking, she probably (not to be sexist!) was the one who was responsible for most of the meals, probably for a very long time. Planning and prepping meals, as we all know all too well, consumes a lot of time and energy. Even though she's no longer responsible for all the work, it could be such a habit, it's going to take her some time to shed it?

So, what can dad do? I guess since writing it down and all that doesn't help her remember, maybe that doesn't need to happen anymore. Maybe she's just unsettled, wanting, in general, to make sure that the family is going to be fed. Maybe just a short, light hearted response, like "Don't you worry about dinner. I've got it covered". And then distract her onto something else? Yes, it will come up again. And again. I guess we are all trying to figure out how to deal with the repetition. Hopefully she will move onto a new subject sometime soon!
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MamaChar Jan 14, 2019
These have been my exact thoughts, because she did do practically all the cooking and housekeeping for our family...she also taught Home Economics (cooking) as her career and had very few other hobbies. I know she enjoys and appreciates having everything done for her but when she asks (constantly) "Is there anything I can do to help?" she actually declines and makes 'excuses' to not :) It's just a cruel mental loop...
Thank you for your reply and support.
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Is it possible to have her do some of the work?

Sometimes I think people just need to have a purpose.

I hope you get some advice that helps her settle down. Maybe some anxiety meds are in order, talk with her doctor. It is probably as hard on her being so anxious.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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MamaChar Jan 14, 2019
Thank you for taking time to reply!
Yes, we try to include her. However, when she asks "Is there anything I can do to help?" and we come up with things like stirring the pot, setting the table, putting ice in the glasses, putting the meat on the platter...9 times out of 10, she'll beg off with "Just let me sit down for a minute first" or "Just give me a minute to..." because she doesn't want to stand too long and I know she really appreciates the work being done FOR her :) - it's like she's caught in a loop and has to ask.
I like the idea and will look in to anxiety meds...some days she's worse than others. Do you know if there meds that she can take 'as needed'?
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Bumping you up.
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MamaChar Jan 14, 2019
:) Thanks!
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