Dementia: can’t eat, won’t eat?
I’m not sure there is a one size fits all. But it is a common theme that sweeter foods seem more desirable with dementia. I certainly noticed this with my father in law, and my mum now. Although I spoke with someone recently who said their father likes savoury only.
Another common theme with mid-late stage is soft moist foods. As the dementia progresses chewing, swallowing and digesting become harder.
We have consulted many dieticians & Salt teams in hospital regarding my mothers issue. She had 3 hospital stays in the last year alone. She would not drink their Nutri drinks or puddings. And although some of the advice useful, none of it seemed particularly dementia aware. And it wasn’t really medical, she could physically eat well at this stage. It was more, she appeared to have lost her enjoyment of eating and what could we do to tempt her. The one really great piece of advice, was to concentrate on fats & calorie content. Don’t fret about nutrients, protein vs carbs etc. Just load up with fats & calories and the body will sort out the rest.
The problems really set in after her 3rd hospital stay. Her weight plummeted and we really were just desperate to save her losing more.
We found she drank relatively ok, so we had to make that the high calorie area. She literally survived on on hot chocolates with milk & added cream for weeks. But she was surprisingly strong. She was getting up walking only a few weeks after her hip op.
High Calorie Content Soups & Ice cream
As mums grown stronger, she started accepting more things. I mainly concentrate on providing puddings & soups. Ice cream is a winner, so I look for the highest calorie ones. I’m sure you know the brand I’m taking about?
And I started to make homemade soup. I discovered the calorie content of coconut cream is huge. And it makes a wonderful sweet soup mixed with butternut, asparagus ,carrots or parsnips. Its also a good way of adding protein with chicken stock.
Dementia & Coconut Oil
There is some research the coconut and coconut oil helps with dementia. I,m not sure but what I do know is my mum loves coconut biscuits. They are more like mini cakes and perfect snacks for leaving out as moist and do not go stale or dry easily. You can buy little bite sized ones or chocolate based ones. And so loaded with calories.
I came up with this, as the ice cream technique of handing on spoon casually, and waiting for her to taste in own time tricky. It would quickly melt, or fall off spoon as she won’t alway hold straight. So I found a really tasty easy cheesecake recipe. I don’t even bother with the biscuit base. (unless for my us). I just make the gooey bit. It tastes amazing, like ice cream but stays on spoon and she can nibble bits in own time. Also sticks to spoon handle very easily. 😉 This recipe is so easy and no baking required.
Fresh cream & meringue.
This goes down well and way of getting protein in egg whites.
Strawberry mousse. chocolate mousse
Savoury dishes that can work? But not such good results, may only have 3 or 4 mouthfuls.
Small bits honey roast ham
Baked potato with very soft flesh and lots of butter
Steamed or poached chicken slices with buttery sauce