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Most people eventually get to a point when not only are the utensils unfamiliar, but so is the food. Also, the brain damage can interfere with the taste of food making something they love into something they eventually find bland or simply don't like. It's all part of the process.

Keep following this thread since excellent responses will continue to come in from readers with varied experiences.
Take care,
Carol
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Yes, others go through this as well. Many residents in Memory care are fed by the aides. There are things you can do to help though. Perhaps you can tell us more about her behavior.

Sometimes, a prompt will help. Example, here, let me help you get started. I'll use the spoon for your first mouthfull of 'xxx'. Hand her the spoon with the food and direct her to "now bring the spoon to your mouth and you can eat it'. If you demonstrate at the same time, it may help. Tell us more and the MANY other posters here can surely offer ideas.
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I love to see how caring and compassionate we all are toward our loved ones suffering from dementia. But I wish we wouldn't get all hung up on food. We were raised that way due to food deprivation during the Depression or wartime in foreign countries. We are also taught that food is love. It's not. It's meant to provide energy for the work of the body. As the body decreases its work output it needs less food.
I found that I served my husband his meals, I sat with him and watched what he ate. He ate ice cream, drank vanilla milk shakes and ate French fries if we went to McDonalds. He didn't "forget" how to eat; he just had few taste buds left--only for sweets and highly salted food.
I finally realized I was not going to cure him, it was not my decision how long he lived, so I let him eat whatever he wanted of the meal I provided.We sat at the table no more than 20 minuets or so, until I saw his interest had faded. He ate kid food and sandwiches for a while. Then he opened the sandwiches and ate just the filling. He lived for 9 years post diagnosis without my feeding him or permitting others to feed him. It was part of preserving his dignity, letting him choose what and how much to eat.
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Yes this is common.
It can help to change from a fork to a spoon.
After that changing to mostly finger foods will help. And even before that if she finds using her fingers for many things easier allow that.
After the finger foods will come pureed foods.
You may even now find that foods chopped very small will make things easier. Other than finger foods that is.
You will go from making "normal" meals to making a lot of soup, stew and casseroles as casseroles are easy to process.
The last stage is you will be feeding her until she stops eating.

I found with my husband that sometimes he could load the spoon but then seemed to forget to get it to his mouth so gently guiding the spoon to the mouth would get him going.
Whatever works for your wife is the right thing to do. There is no "normal" and every one will have different problems and ways to solve them. You know your wife and her triggers and cues work with that and she will be able to do more for herself for a longer time.
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I've had to feed my mom for a long time, although she can manage finger foods just fine if it is something that appeals to her, currently she loves pieces of fruit and crunchy snacks like the mix I make up of mini crackers and breakfast cereals. She used to do well with small sandwiches or cookies, but I am finding that now she often forgets they are in her hand and won't take a 2nd bite, tiny one bite pieces work best. Sometimes she has difficulty with her drinks as well, even asking for something while she holds the cup in her hand.
She does need encouragement to eat because she has no appetite, but I have made a promise to myself never to force food on her if she is adamantly resistant.
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yes. I transitioned to cutting her food small and putting it into a bowl with spoon. Maybe she is losing dexterity- find a spoon with large handle made for people with arthritis or kids. I didn't cut her food infront of her- I did it in the kitchen.
Now she tries to eat on her own, and also lets me push the food onto the spoon- and also will let me feed her, but I dont do that much.
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My husband, who had Alzheimer's, continued to be able to use a knife and fork correctly, but sometimes went two weeks without eating toward the end of his life. His hospice nurse said not to try to force him to eat.
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My Mom is having trouble eating as well. She sits too far back in her chair, she needs to use a spoon and I must stay in the room while she eats or she gets up and leaves. She eats slow so I am finished but I need to sit there until she finished. I have a 2 year old grand-daughter, hers and my mom's eating habits are the same. Cutting up burger, eating with a spoon, putting something around their necks to save clothes from being stained, etc. I remember my Mom would get so upset with my Grandmother, who was in her 90's, dropping food on herself and here she is doing the same. I load up on the fluids at every meal, go overboard to make sure she is getting enough. If I give her a drink between meals, she will, oftentimes, get up and pour it out while I am not looking. I am concerned with dehydration.
My Mom was a professional pianist. Because of her extending her fingers to reach the notes in difficult compositions I know she has pain, they look painful. So, I got the largest handled cutlery I could find to try and ease that pain for meals.
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My mom who had dementia had difficulty eating "proper" food. Example she would eat a scoop of spreadable cheese to put on crackers. Like it was ice cream. She also ate cooked shrimp without removing shells. She craved sweets like toast and jam. She was a DNR and I'm the daughter/nurse. One time paramedics picked her up to take her to adult day care. My dad put a chocolate in her mouth before she left. I got a call at work that my mom being transferred to ER because she was unconscious and bleeding out of her mouth. But true story was my mom fell asleep in paratransit van and chocolate was melted and dripping from her mouth. I learned you have to find humor in this or it will CONSUME you. No storm lasts forever. Learn from yesterday, live and love today, and surrender tomorrow. We borrow a body for this life, yet own our soul.
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My moms situation was a little different. She had Lewy body dementia with parkinsons. First mom started spilling her drinks, so I used soppy cups. Then her hands would shake so much while trying to feed herself that she would get frustrated and give up. I asked if she would let me help her and she did. My mom ate very well, whatever we were having from fish to steak. I used a straw with drinks. She ate this way for 3 years, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only problem she had near the end was she looked liked she would make the motion to swallow a few times before she actually swallowed the food. The speech therapist said she was still good eating what everyone else did as long as she wanted it. One day she didn't want to eat and the next didn't want to get out of bed. The next day we found out she had a brain bleed and never ate again. I think each persons situation is different. I would also give my mom choices for breakfast, would you like eggs or cheerios and strawberries? There is no right or wrong, only what works for you. Good luck and God Bless
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