8 Unusual Things People With Dementia May Try to Eat

Late in dementia, your loved one may have difficulty recognizing what foods are safe to eat. This can present some dangers that most caregivers never dream of.

It may never happen to you, but be aware of the following things that people with dementia have tried to eat:

  • Cubes of raw chicken or beef from the refrigerator or counter

  • Sugar, straight from the sugar bowl

  • Shampoo (because of a pretty fruit label or scent)

  • Fake fruit

  • Pretty balls of soap or bath beads that resemble candy

  • Oil (poured into a glass)

  • Paint chips (from a windowsill, for example)

  • Foods past their expiration dates

Play it safe if your loved one is prone to wandering around the house and opening cupboards, and remove dangerous or deceptive-looking substances from reach.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio