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Eating Disorders linked to Dementia?(8 Posts)
My elderly father has not (yet) been diagnosed with dementia but he definitely has some kind of eating disorder. He has had several tests and checks and there is nothing physically wrong with him but he often feels that he has food stuck in his gullet and worries that he will choke. As a result, he will only eat certain foods but his preferences are not logical. For example, he will eat 3 Shredded Wheat, with cold milk, at breakfast, with no problem at all but he won't eat (spits it out as soon as it hits his mouth) meat of any kind, soft pasta in a cheese sauce, plain scones, smooth chocolate mousse... and so on. It's driving everyone mad, esp my mum who struggles to find food that he will eat (but he also seems to be permanently hungry, even when he's eaten). His staple diet, apart from the Shredded Wheat, is mashed potato. Trying to get him to accept pureed food and hoping for an appointment with a dietician soon. Just wondered if anyone else had experienced this?
Yes. My grandma who had dementia was like this and became very anxious re anything that needed to be chewed. She also chocked and gagged a lot. She was diagnosed with something called stricture of the oesophagus. Once it was diagnosed it was stretched every time she syruggled, probably about every 12-18 months. Good luck.
My mum went through a stage where really the only thing she reliably ate was ice cream. She's had problems recognising food on the plate and organising herself to fork, chew, swallow etc
After some experimentation, dad found that she could manage food with a crisp outer which seems to stimulate her to chew - but it does mean she has cod goujons, hash browns and corn on the cob (not sweetcorn, she won't accept that) every single day. She'll only drink through a straw. Anything dry like a scone she would choke on
Would he eat cheesy mash? Wiltshire farm foods do pureed food that is nicely presented, and easy for your mum to serve so not frustrating
My dad had the choking feeling. He had other health issues and it was found he had a build-up of thrush In his oesophageas that was causing the choking feeling. Once that was cleared he could eat properly again.
How long has this been happening OP?
I was told that people with dementia sometimrs can’t ‘see’ certain food, if its on a similar coloured plate. Ie. Mash on a white plate.
Also, can you consume a food supplement such as Ensure.
Thanks for all your comments. Yes, Wiltshire Foods are the ones we're going to get some meals from and hope he'll eat them! He's due to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (not until May though). He has been given some of the food supplement drinks but only takes them sporadically. He's had the choking feeling since about Christmas time. I've heard of other people having their oesophagus stretched but it's never been offered to him. Not sure why but it sounds like the obvious answer! (but it's probably more complicated than that). Yes, I've read that too, about having food on a different-coloured plate. Not sure that it would make much difference. He can't see very well anyway. It's the texture of the food that he worries about. Anything with any 'bite' to it at all (even the crust of a soft scone, or toast), is a no-no!
I was told that people with dementia sometimes can’t ‘see’ certain food, if its on a similar coloured plate. Thanks, that's a really helpful comment! I've been worrying about my father, eg saying "I'd better buy some light coloured trousers, because if they're lying on the floor, you can't see dark trousers against this (red) carpet" - that gives another explanation about what may be going on. All efforts to get him to see an optician have so far failed.