Monitoring your loved one’s eating habits

Journal entry, Jan. 16, 2016

Late one even for Dad. He was up after noon (usual) and didn’t have breakfast until 4-ish (not usual). I notice he’s doing that more, and skipping meals. I don’t think he’s pulling a Mom (I’m not eating and you can’t make me) but he’s just slap forgetting.

He's probably not going for my salmon dinner. You can't hide spicy.
He’s probably not going for my salmon dinner. You can’t hide spicy.

I notice eating habits go completely to pot when you’re seriously into dementia. This happens for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is your care recipient isn’t eating so well.

One of the things I heard in my caregiving class is that food doesn’t taste the same. Or maybe it all does. Maybe everything tastes like chicken.

Eating, I think, becomes more like a fuel stop than a sit-down at the table enjoying something really good. Dad lives on those frozen microwaved rations, and it does all taste the same to me. But that’s dinner.

He will have some of my homemade spaghetti once a week. He’s fine with it as long as it’s not too spicy. But other things he won’t notice — like the onion and bell pepper I use in it. He doesn’t like either, but if he doesn’t notice them …

I think he’s forgetting to eat more. We do keep a schedule; lunch at 5-ish, dinner between 9 and 10. But I usually have to prompt him.

Other eating challenges: He had jaw pain that kept him from eating for a while, and it took a while to catch on to the idea of smaller bites. He’s fine with it now, but I still have to monitor that.

Best thing I can do here is have that schedule and stick with it. I usually eat with him (except breakfast), so that part’s easier.

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