Alzheimers Question

I have been my mom's sole caregiver for 6 years now. My mom has had Alzheimers for 12 years. At the beginning of the first of the year I have noticed a change with eating. This has been the first time that I have had to work on this challenge. She seems to refuse to eat for me at times or when she does she just wants to not swallow. Holding the food in her mouth. With every stage of this disease this has been the worst one that I have had to deal with. If anybody else has any suggestions for me it would be much appreciated 💚 thank you
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Honored Social Butterfly

There have been a lot of good suggestions and links here for supportive care of an Alzheimers patient (victim). 


Yes, nutritional intake gets to be a problem in the later stages as well as hydration too. 


Try everything that has been suggested.  I particularly liked the that ranae1221 linked.


However, somewhere in the back of your mind or as directed by your mom's health care directive, you need to come to a decision about this situation if it does get worse.


Don't let anybody talk you into anything that is against her healthcare directive or what you feel is right depending upon the situation.


Like I said, try all the suggestions and hope for the best.



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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My question is my husband of 47 years dont recognize me for days or weeks at a time.He refers to me as his sister or any other relative that as passed on. He is tired alot .What can I do to stay in his present environment. He also sleep alot and his appetite goes and come.
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AARP Expert

@m150349s wrote:
My question is my husband of 47 years dont recognize me for days or weeks at a time.He refers to me as his sister or any other relative that as passed on. He is tired alot .What can I do to stay in his present environment. He also sleep alot and his appetite goes and come.

Hi there,

Wow I'm so sorry that he has Alzheimer's. And that he's beginning to forget who you are. A very good friend of mine's mother used to call her the names of her friends, her sister, but never her own name, and it hurt. Although eventually she got used to it, and she'd say, yes it's Sue, how are you today? Even though it was Judy, her daughter. With whom she lived all the time.


This forgetting is part of the disease. Have you read the 36 Hour Day? It really describes what it's like to live with a person who has dementia. Full of tips, and support. 


One tip i read about is this: when the person with dementia forgets what door leads to what place, you can take a picture of it. Then print it out and tape it to the door. So there's a picture of the toilet on the door of the bathroom. (That one is particularly important.)  Maybe you could wear a big name tag around your neck that has your name or nickname on it, and he'd read that and remember. 


I hope other folks have ideas, too.


Is there a caregiver support group anywhere near you? Might be worth finding out, by googling your county or town and caregiver support. Never know what else you'll find.


So what keeps you going?



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Trusted Contributor

It could be that she doesn't remember at times to swallow. Its not so much she is refusing as it is she doesn't remember. Sometimes verbal cues can help; remind her to swallow, encourage her to drink something every few bites to clear the throat. Refusing to eat is also very common. Taste buds change as people age, this is one reason older people will eat things that are salty or sweet. Could she be having trouble chewing? Sometimes something as simple as eating can take much effort and energy and someone can be too tired to chew. Could there be tooth/mouth problems causing pain? 


Here are some tips that may be helpful:


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Bronze Conversationalist

Hi, aw.


Hate to answer your question with questions but i do wonder, how old is she? Are you feeding her now? So she can't feed herself anymore?  Does she have any trouble swallowing?


When in doubt, google. I googled "alzheimer's refusal to eat" and found this:  This blog post tells me that refusing to eat is common for people with alzheimer's in the last stages of the disease.


Is that where your mother is? Does this blog post fit your experience right now?


Or is she earlier in the journey and becoming a picky eater?


Does her doctor have a recommendation for a dietitian?


Last question for you: is any of this helpful?  Please write back and tell us what's going on.



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