Mum rapidly losing weight

Hi all, wondering if anyone has experienced a similar situation and knows of any ways to ease it. My mum (56) has frontal temporal dementia, which was diagnosed October last year. We’ve seen lots of changes in her behaviour and appearance, especially being joined at the hip given the lockdown circumstances. One of the most worrying changes is her dramatic weight loss. Her eating habits and general behaviour around food are becoming a real challenge. Her appetite has reduced significantly but she has developed a real sweet tooth, claiming to be full but always has room for chocolate, ice cream, cake etc. She constantly has to be watched while she is eating too, as she has a habit of forcing excessive amounts of food into her mouth without chewing and then trying to take a drink too, so she’s at a real risk of choking, as well as trying to hide what’s left of her plate or bin it before we’ve noticed, even though we’ve taken to giving her smaller portions now as she does have a smaller appetite. All this has caused her weight to drop dramatically. I caught a full view of her the other night (having found her in the shower at 3am, another new behaviour) and it almost brought me to tears seeing how frail her body now looks. We are hoping to see the GP about it (lockdown permitting) but in the meantime, has anyone here had a similar experience and knows of any ways to address this, in particular ways of encouraging her to eat a more varied diet and proper portions. If she could understand the situation herself she would no doubt be horrified at what is happening but our words and encouragement are being lost on her at the moment.

Hi Ellie,
Other posters on here in the past have had similar issues and have tried all sorts of creative ways to encourage eating from changing the colour of the plate to serving up ‘nursery’ food i.e. food that their parent liked when they were young. I agree that the GP needs to check that there isn’t a health reasons for her losing weight. Re stuffing too much in - a smaller spoon or fork might limit how much she can get in in one go.


Hi Ellie,

So sorry for what is happening to you and your Mum. My Mum, almost 70, has lost a lot of weight over the last year. Most of her teeth have fallen out which doesn’t help but she eats very little too which worries me as she has become extremely frail all of a sudden.

I sit and talk about food with Mum and try to think up recipes with items she likes. I have to cut the food up for her. We also watch various cooking shows and she always gets excited when I make something we have seen on MasterChef or Nigella. I recently made a fish stew Nigella made on her programme and Mum was so happy when I made it for her. Mum was in the kitchen with me, bless her, she can’t cook anymore and it really upsets her but I always big her up and say I couldn’t do it without your advice which cheers her up.

Is there anything in particular your Mum really enjoys? Maybe cook that and she might finish the whole meal.

You really need to watch the sweet treats. Too many and it might lead to other health issues.

I saw an outline of her body the other day when she was putting a jumper on and I was in tears that night. She looks like a skeleton. :dry:

I’m so sorry for what happened for you and your mom

Hello, Really sorry for her and wish here a speedy recovery.