Terminal Illness, what foods/drinks for high calorific content to give?

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
Hello

Quite a depressing subject to bring to your attention, but its an important one that I would like some advice on and maybe it will assist others in what is always a possibility with relatives/friends etc.

After 3 weeks of my mother being unable to keep food down from what we assumed was the after effects of a norovirus recently sweeping through her care home, I managed to get her checked out down the hospital. She is an old chick, nearly 89 years old and previous cancer scares.

Worse news possible after a scan, a polyp located 3 years ago in her lower intestine is now terminal cancer after spreading across her liver, bowel and stomach. Inoperable and her time left with us could be a few weeks to a few months. Amongst the many symptoms is her struggle to keep food down and as of now she is on a soft diet and likely be going to full liquid as this progresses.

These last few weeks I will spend a lot of time with her at the care home, and I was wondering has anyone had experience in how to get as much calories into the little food that she is eating as possible. I am attempting to try different stuff to see what stays down and what doesn't and am looking at the protein shakes and 40 sips stuff as emergency fare.

A suggestion of loading what food she can take with either butter, condensed milk, olive oil, mayonnaise, egg protein or whatever fits what she can eat is being looked at...ie...loads of butter in really soft scrambled eggs.

Any thoughts or experience ?
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
Hello

Quite a depressing subject to bring to your attention, but its an important one that I would like some advice on and maybe it will assist others in what is always a possibility with relatives/friends etc.

After 3 weeks of my mother being unable to keep food down from what we assumed was the after effects of a norovirus recently sweeping through her care home, I managed to get her checked out down the hospital. She is an old chick, nearly 89 years old and previous cancer scares.

Worse news possible after a scan, a polyp located 3 years ago in her lower intestine is now terminal cancer after spreading across her liver, bowel and stomach. Inoperable and her time left with us could be a few weeks to a few months. Amongst the many symptoms is her struggle to keep food down and as of now she is on a soft diet and likely be going to full liquid as this progresses.

These last few weeks I will spend a lot of time with her at the care home, and I was wondering has anyone had experience in how to get as much calories into the little food that she is eating as possible. I am attempting to try different stuff to see what stays down and what doesn't and am looking at the protein shakes and 40 sips stuff as emergency fare.

A suggestion of loading what food she can take with either butter, condensed milk, olive oil, mayonnaise, egg protein or whatever fits what she can eat is being looked at...ie...loads of butter in really soft scrambled eggs.

Any thoughts or experience ?


The only people I could ask about this, well one is dead and the other one died so quickly from his bowel cancer once diagnosed (a matter of weeks) that diet wasn't a major concern so the family members just kept on feeding him as normal

anyway

 
Sorry to hear of this.

No experience, and please don't think me cold, but if it's terminal, not long to go and she's fully aware - how about make her, her favourite things that she'll hopefully keep down and let have something tasty and enjoyable.

However, yes, the stuff you've said is great, decent fats are way better than any processed sugars - even things like slow cooked and fully rendered thick pork fat can be good, one of the best collagen sources in 'normal' food too, cut up tiny or even blended.

Hope you find a good solution.
 

naffnickname

MIA
Book Reviewer
I am so sorry. Please see your inbox
 

olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
Sorry to hear this news.

From a friends experience when he had some severe stomach injuries and could only have tiny portions....

Soups from high energy density fruits and vegetables, using fatty pork stock. No use trying to absord fats without the right vitamins and minerals too.

Make them cream off type soups, but done properly, and avoid them being over sweet, that can trigger gag reflex as the body thinks it is over ripe fruit and therefore not good to eat. Blandness is, unfortunately, the way forward.

Pumpkin, potatoes, that sort of stuff.
 
Sorry to hear of this.

No experience, and please don't think me cold, but if it's terminal, not long to go and she's fully aware - how about make her, her favourite things that she'll hopefully keep down and let have something tasty and enjoyable.

However, yes, the stuff you've said is great, decent fats are way better than any processed sugars - even things like slow cooked and fully rendered thick pork fat can be good, one of the best collagen sources in 'normal' food too, cut up tiny or even blended.

Hope you find a good solution.
I would add to this: find something they like/tolerate and keep doing it.
This is not the time to mix it up, vary the diet etc.
I think the home knows this, but no harm in you talking to them.
When you visit you could take in fudge/tablet and snack that way.
All the best.
 

snapper

War Hero
Similar situation with my Mother back in the early 90's, she found that the tinned baby food from 10 month to 2 year age group worked for her.
Good luck to you all.
 

dontenn

On ROPS
On ROPs
I was prescribed Fortisip protein she may be already using them they are very good and provide all the requirements.
 
I’d like to think the Macmillan nurses could guide you on this.

I used to be on a feeding tube in hospital. Healing takes a lot of calories. Once off the feeding tube I had to drink several build up shakes a day, on top the meals I was eating.

Maybe something similar might work for your mum.

As an aside, look after yourself during this difficult period. You’re no good to anyone being ill.
 

Proff3RTR

War Hero
So sorry to hear your news, my bezzers wife passed 3 years ago and it was quick, but he had her on condensed milk puddings (he described them as really runny readybrek with flavourings) and some nice thick soups. I hope what ever time you have with mum is quality time as much as the situation allows.
 

Proff3RTR

War Hero
I’d like to think the Macmillan nurses could guide you on this.

I used to be on a feeding tube in hospital. Healing takes a lot of calories. Once off the feeding tube I had to drink several build up shakes a day, on top the meals I was eating.

Maybe something similar might work for your mum.

As an aside, look after yourself during this difficult period. You’re no good to anyone being ill.
Your last part about looking after himself is bang on and such good advice.
 
Carers routinely work themselves to a pulp without even considering their own welfare. Even if they do, they put it a distant last. I was forced to put my increasingly frail and demented mother in care in 2016. She'd started failing in at least 2009 and I was the sole carer. Not one day off - or one night of proper sleep - in all that time. ETA; don't do that.
And I bet you kicked yourself for putting your mum in care.
You can’t care if you are being cared for.
 
Sorry to hear @BaldBaBoon
- without wanting to be flippant, because I don't know what's allowed/compatible etc.
What's the wisdom of the care staff and Arrse crowd regarding stuff like Guinness, Amarula/Bailey's cream liqueurs etc?
 
Like others I’ve been through this though it is a while back now…

Can only second the comment upthread about the Macmillan nurses and very very much agree with others who have said that you need to ensure that you look after yourself and pace yourself - it’s easier said than done but if you don’t you‘ll end up being no use to anybody.

Good luck.
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
Sorry to hear @BaldBaBoon
- without wanting to be flippant, because I don't know what's allowed/compatible etc.
What's the wisdom of the care staff and Arrse crowd regarding stuff like Guinness, Amarula/Bailey's cream liqueurs etc?
I will have a natter to them. Before my father passed with a similar complaint, we actually had the thumbs up to give him a Mackeson Stout ( little can ) every night. Even if it did no miracles in nutrition, it was certainly morale boosting.

 

Poppy

LE
so sorry to hear this

no advice really but having lost my mum (Parkinsons) last Sunday take care of yourself. My mum stopped eating on the Thursday and died on Sunday. The care home staff were absolutely wonderful and tried to get enough nourishment into her with soups and soft food prior to this - but I reckon she'd had enough. My dad and brother and I were with her and she wasn't in hospital she was adamant she didn't want that so we all did the best we could to give her the end she wanted.

Best wishes to you- people keep telling me I'm strong but what choice do we have? Showing love to the living is what makes us human
 
I will have a natter to them. Before my father passed with a similar complaint, we actually had the thumbs up to give him a Mackeson Stout ( little can ) every night. Even if it did no miracles in nutrition, it was certainly morale boosting.


After several months in jungle we had a few weeks in S. Africa. Had a litre of Amarula a night for a couple of weeks and put on half a stone despite the continued Phys.
Haven't been able to drink Bailey's since - no comparison.

But - if the med staff approve, and, more to the point, your Mum enjoys it. Morale counts for a lot, best wishes

ETA @Poppy Sorry to hear of your loss. Almost exactly a year ago lost one of my long standing mates due to the same.
 
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