Thursday, May 23, 2013

Monitoring Her Intake

Lyn's not eating as well as she normally did.

She hates eating breakfast.  She might eat a reasonable lunch.  She is not really snacking any more.  Dinner is maybe 6 bites.  Mom has been counting the bites to keep track of what she's eating.  What she doesn't eat at dinner, she will often have as the next day's lunch.  In essence, this means she's eating only one meal's worth a day.

We recognize that one meal equivalent a day is not terrible.  However, it is a significant change for her. For example, Mom offered one of Lyn's favorite meals of spaghetti earlier this week.  She literally ate 6 bites.

Dementia commonly causes patients to forget to eat, to forget that they might be hungry or to not even feel hunger.  As vision is impacted the patient may have difficulty even seeing the food on the plate in front of the individual.  Mom is serving Lyn off of red plates to increase the visual contrast between the food and the plate.  She is maintaining regular mealtimes and telling Lyn that it is time to eat.  She is also prompting during the course of the meal to try to keep her moving.  None of these seem to be making much of a difference.

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