Friday, February 28, 2014

My Husband's Poor Appetite

Any old problem seems to be stressful for me lately.  Some care receivers eat all the time, but not my husband. With his mixed dementia he has lost weight and doesn't always eat much. It is also hard to get enough liquids down him which he needs because of UTI possibilities. 

Trying to Increase the Appetite 
Hubby likes to eat on a tray at his Archie Bunker spot in the den while watching TV. He is so at home there that I hesitate to change the routine. He will sit at the table when we have others eating with us. Pictured  is a mix of nuts, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips in a red bowl. Food a red plate is supposed to work. They say 25% more will be consumed HERE if the it is on red a red plate or in a red bowl.  The red in that bottle comes from 1/3 diet cranberry juice mixed with diet Lipton ice tea and the cranberry juice helps him not get another UTI. He really likes this drink and it is red! I also try to give him bottled water because we have well water that doesn't taste so good.

Equal Mixture of Two Items Frozen in Ice Cube Tray

I have featured his coconut oil chocolate HERE on this blog. I even arrange for that coconut oil chocolate when we are out of town.  He has his coconut oil chocolate and a breakfast bar when I leave the house in the morning. At times when Kenny comes to give him his lunch, that breakfast bar is still there and the chocolate is melted. 

Between Kenny and I we always see that he gets his morning pills. Sometimes I text Kenny that he hasn't had his morning pills and Kenny takes care of that for me. I am responsible for his evening pills. Kenny also gives him two pills at lunch. 

We have gone through different kinds of lunches since hubby was diagnosed with mixed dementia. Kenny suggested a variety of frozen dinners with foods he likes for lunch. Hubby also has coconut oil chocolate for lunch. This lunch is working now and when I work it is easy for Kenny to fix while I work. 

One solution is out-and-out bribery. Your ice cream is ready after you eat a little more. Many care givers use ice cream I have read. I hear that a nutritious ice cream will be here soon. 

Hubby likes to eat with someone such as myself at dinner and he seems to eat more when we go out to eat. We usually bring some of that dinner home and it doesn't taste as good to him with the warm up. Tonight I am warming up his dinner for the second time. He won't remember that he had it last night. 

Hubby likes salads and can eat the salad and be too full for the dinner, but then wants his ice cream. So salad and ice cream! 

I do the best I can. Sometimes I hear his stomach growl in the early morning hours. I want to get up out of bed and get his false teeth and feed him, but he prefers to sleep. 

It is always something with dementia care receivers, and every one is different. Trying to tackle one problem at a time here, folks. 



  1. I have heard that people with dementia tend to have trouble maintaining the calories their bodies need. It does seem like you are doing a good effort to get your hubby to eat what he needs despite his 'efforts" maybe not wanting to do so. Think he could tolerate/like the supplemental drinks like Boost or Ensure?

    I do know hubby's mom suffering from dementia from Parkinson's did like her ice cream cone from McDonald's that she got on a weekly basis when her husband would take her there.

    It is hard for me to imagine not having the appetite to eat; I tend to go the other way; too much appetite, too many calories, carrying a bit extra weight than I should.


    1. Yes, Betty, it is the disease. When I married my husband he did have an appetite. When I nag, that doesn't work. He never liked Ensure or Boost, but at some point I may make a smoothy out of it with ice cream. He does like milk shakes.

  2. Gave hubby a large corn on the cob leftover from dinner last night.
    Calories 155
    Calories from Fat 31
    Total Fat 3.4g 5%
    Saturated Fat 1.6g 8%
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1.0g
    Cholesterol 6mg 2%
    Sodium 29mg 1%
    Potassium 359mg 10%
    Carbohydrates 31.9g 11%
    Dietary Fiber 0.0g 0%
    Sugars 0.0g
    Protein 4.5g
    Read more: Calories in Corn On The Cob, With Butter | Nutrition and Health Facts
    I am home today and he is enjoying corn for breakfast! He also has some BBQ and his coconut oil chocolate.

  3. What a challenge! Your husband is blessed to have a caring wife who watches over him so well!

    1. Yes it is a challenge. Jake spent the day with us while Sally and granddaughter went to the Strawberry Festival. So then Jake ate lunch, but hubby didn't as his breakfast and morning pills took a long time. Hubby finally finished his lunch, a frozen dinner, for supper after I warmed it up again about 5. I went to Toastmasters and Kenny came by and gave hubby ice cream. Can't wait for the nutritious ice cream to come out.

  4. This again reminds me a lot of my father in law who had to be coaxed into eating. Ice cream WAS a favorite, too. Runs in the family.... One day at a time & you're doing wonderful.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Marianne.

  5. Carol, it was good to see Aimee's write up about you at Housewife Theologian. I don't know how I missed it but I didn't know you had another blog. I have added it to my feed. By the way when Aimee and I befriended the first thing she asked me was if I knew you. I told her we had touched base a few years ago and I continued to read your blog. Things have been so busy lately that I have not been as faithful with my blog.
    Mom turned 85 two weeks ago and she and I have moved to a wonderful home on a farm right next door to one of my sisters. I continue to teach at a classical Christian tutorial two mornings and we have gotten some assistance from Right at Home. I was hesitant to have someone I didn't know but this is a young girl who is going for her nursing degree and we all love her. She has been a blessing. Mom has some difficulty with eating but most of the time she has a good appetite which is great.
    Hang in there Carol. Being a caregiver is difficulty I know and every situation is different. I am happy for the support I have and that mom for the most part is still cooperative and very appreciative. She set an example for her children by how she took care of her parents and she lost my dad at 37 and she raised her four children. She at times worked three jobs but instilled in us a love of the Lord, of family and sticking together. What I am doing is small compared to all she did for us.
    God bless you.

    1. Oh Janice,

      So good to have you comment here. Good to know more about you and to meet another caregiver. Sounds like the professional caregiving support you have for your mother is wonderful.

      It was a real honor to have Aimee review my book on Housewife Theologican.

      Hugs and prayers,