Help for Pappa

Melody1June 8, 2002

I know this is not the correct form for this but I thought someone here might be able to help....

My Dad is 76 and has lost almost 30 lbs in the past 9 months without trying. He has always been on the thin side so he didn't need to loose any. Up until a couple of weeks ago he had a normal appetite, now I think he's getting worried about himself and is not eating hardly at all. I ask him to try products like Ensure but he says they "sour" on his stomach. He's been to the doctor and lots of tests have been taken but they have all come up without an answer. I think one thing is that he is having lots of back pain, his sister which is 89 is driving him nuts and my mother is worse. All of that aside he needs to do something to gain weight. Does anyone know of anything I can suggest to help him? Are there any places on the web I can go? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Try a milk shake with Carnation instant breakfast, skim milk and ice cream.
Don't blame him with the Ensure....that stuff's nasty!
Also invite him for meals....sometimes having someone to eat with makes a difference.
And....if his doctor isn't finding anything wrong....I'd seek a second opinion. There is SOMETHING wrong.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 11:05AM
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Also, find out what he's taking for his back pain. Many pain releivers will also effect appetite in older folks.
If he's living with stress I'd speak to those who are causing his stress and see to it that they understand they are a big part of his problem. And it needs to stop.
Have you tried adding a teaspoon of vanilla to the Ensure and serving it almost frozen like a shake. Maybe that might help get some in him.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 9:56PM
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The previous two answers were very good. Little needs to be added. What tests have been done? Does he smoke or drink? Those are important factors when examining his condition. Many older people do seem to have a diminished taste and food just doesn't appeal to them.They eat better with sweets and salt, which is sometimes a problem if they have other medical conditions. Also, he needs to find the reason for his back pain. If he sees a 'family doctor', he should see an internist now and get a really good going over. Back pain can be anything from muscle spasm to disc problems to cancer. If nothing can be done, then he needs to be on a medication that can make life tolerable for him. I'm a nurse and I've always been told by the nutritionalists that Ensure and Carnation instant breakfast are basically the same thing. My daughter gained with it (and Slimfast) when she drank it with meals (not alone).Post later as to how he does.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 10:29PM
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When your Dad goes for his physical, ask for an MRI to be done of his abdomen and back area. It doesn't take long and is painless, and will reveal possible problems that are only indicated by pain or vague symptoms. That's what we've been dealing with in our family. We're upset with the outcome of the MRI, but at least we have a diagnosis now and a plan of treatment, including surgery.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 6:13PM
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in addition the great advice above..try Boost instead of Ensure. It may taste better.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2002 at 9:32PM
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