Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Sz and the elderly

Hello all!

My mother, age 75, has Schizophrenia and now dementia. She waxes and wanes and stops eating for days at a time. Then after about a week she snaps out of it. Has anyone else experienced this before? Or anyone here have a loved one with SZ who’s up there in age?

Thank you kindly!

No…I don’t know any elderly that suffer from the disorder, but back in the late 80’s I was doing research on diet and found that as someone ages they do lose the desire to eat. As we age there is also a change in the kinds of food desired due to age related disease, medications and changes in the mouth…hence the reason the elderly like sweets. I’ve also had elderly relatives (lived alone before nursing home) hospitalized due to compromised mental state and the reason was solely due to metabolic imbalances caused by poor diet. Once they had gone through re-hydration and a steady balanced diet their coherent mental state returned. Our daughter before treatment frequently didn’t want to eat to the point of that anorexic look.

Unfortunately your mother is being impacted from all sides. Pre-existing disorder and age. Does she like any one or two particular food items that she could just binge on? Will she voluntarily take a vitamin supplement? Pedialyte is a good addition for drinking. We get my Dad Premier Protein Drink from Sams Club to take sometimes. He is limited in quantity he can drink due to kidney disease.

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Hi Mrsbigsky,

Welcome to the forum:)

My mother-in-law had schizophrenia and she developed vascular dementia. Vascular dementia affects the body internally, not just the brain function. I say this because what I write may not apply for your mom if she has a different kind of dementia.

She did stop eating for days at a time and would suddenly start eating again. As the dementia progressed she often just seemed to forget about eating. It was a bit of a mixed bag dealing with her from day to day. She could be startlingly different from one day to the next.

One of the first signs that made everyone realize something else was going on was she began to lose weight. She had gained a considerable amount of weight in her 50’s.

What kind of dementia does your mom have?

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Thank you for your response. I replied but I don’t think I did it correctly. (Newbie here.) My mom does love root beer floats and pretty much all sweets. She was even that way as a child and would often only eat dessert instead of her meal, which drove her mother crazy. (7 kids in the household.) She is on ensure and other liquid supplements. Some days she is not able to chew. It seems her physical health is worse than her mental lately. Thanks for the protein drink suggestion! I have a sams membership so that helps a lot.