How do I get my dementia patient to eat?

Knightklown asked...

My patient who is 87 with dementia has lost a significant amount of weight. He just isn't hungry and his weight has dropped. I alerted the doctor as well as his visiting nurse yet since he is still about 10 lbs over weight they havent said anything. He has lost almost all muscle mass. As a caregiver I really don't know what to do at this point. I give him Ensure and he drinks that but hardly eats anything. I need advice.

Expert Answer

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

People with dementia often become depressed and just lose their appetites. Ask his doctor about this concern as there are medications to stimulate appetite. If he will exercise with you it may help his muscle mass as well as lifting his spirits.