Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hunger

Every day after Lyn gets home from day hab, she asks what's for dinner and if Mom is going to cook dinner soon.  She's pretty consistent and asks at the same time even on the weekend.

Some days, she'll be unhappy that Mom is fixing chicken or steak or carrots or whatever because she's never liked chicken or steak or carrots or whatever.  We've gotten used to her declarations of not liking something she liked a week ago.  Honestly, these declarations come from the fact that she no longer remembers if she likes or dislikes a food.  It is her best guess and an attempt to feel in control or relevant to the decisions being made.

The advantageous aspect of forgetting what you do like is also forgetting what you don't like.  This has allowed Mom to make dishes which Lyn would previously reject.  In the past year, Lyn has eaten things that she's not eaten in over 20 years and has been happy with what was on her plate.

Unfortunately, the forgetting has expanded and now she's starting to forget if she's even hungry.  Take yesterday for example.  She asked Mom what was for dinner.  Mom said "Steak.  Are you hungry?"  Lyn thought and said "I don't know if I'm hungry or not."  Mom caught her breath and decided to cook dinner, keeping Lyn to her regular schedule even if Lyn wasn't sure.

This is a common problem with Alzheimer's patients.  As their brain dies, they may no longer taste or smell food as well as they once did.  They may not recognize hunger or thirst.  When they do, they may even get distracted and forget to eat or drink.

Additional Information:
Alzheimer's: Making Mealtimes Easier
Food, Eating and Alzheimer's

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