My mother, 97 years old, has dementia. She has no sense of day or night and falls asleep at all times. She has lost a few teeth and has problems chewing her food. Everything I serve has to be very soft. The last few months she has been falling asleep a lot, even while she is eating. I have to keep waking her up, but it doesn't help. She chews at least 200 times (I counted) and still can't finish her meal after 2 hours because she keeps dozing off. When she falls asleep, she drools. It's like she doesn't know there is food in her mouth and forgets to swallow. I tried serving her meals right after she wakes up but it didn't help. She is now only eating half of what she used to. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions on how to get her to eat (other than supplementing her diet with Ensure). Thank you.
I know it's hard to let go but there comes a time when nothing we do is going to make any real difference. Even with pureed food and patient feeding your mom isn't able to eat, and isn't hungry or interested in eating. I think supplements like ensure aren't going to be helpful, she's past that point - just keep offering at regular intervals but don't take it to extremes, let her eat if she is interested, but let her not eat if can't/won't. It is time to consider Hospice.
I would just let her sleep and if she asks for something to eat you can of course give her some along with some drink, but at this point I would make sure that whatever you give her is pureed and the drinks thickened(I used the product Thick It for my husband)as that will allow both food and drink to go down better and quicker and you won't have to worry about her aspirating.
Hospice will be better to assist you at this time, and allow your mother to hopefully be comfortable and die in peace.
Best wishes to you and your mother.