Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sweet Tooth

I was telling a professional, when my wife was not eating much, that she tended to prefer sweet things. 'Ah yes, they develop a sweet tooth'. Me: 'No. She's always had a sweet tooth'. 'Ah yes, it's very common. They develop a sweet tooth.'!!!!! 

However, some people with dementia do seem to develop a sweet tooth. But I have recently learnt that, as people get older, the taste buds begin to disappear (along with many other things!) and, with far fewer taste buds, people tend to favour foods that make the strongest impact, e.g. sweet things. People with dementia are predominantly elderly.......

So mostly it's not to do with having dementia, it's to do with ageing. I definitely know that my sense of taste has deteriorated, and I probably like sweet things more. I am quite old but I don't have dementia.

Another example. Plates of a certain colour are allegedly easier for people with dementia to see the food on. But, guess what? There's no agreement about which is the best colour  -  yellow, blue, red  -  because everybody's different. And the issue could be to do with deterioration in the eyesight (i.e. the actual eyes becoming less efficient) or with problems relating to the link between the eyes and the brain (which are a feature of some types of dementia). So when someone says 'Yellow plates are best for them', they might be right about some of them but, even for those some, the problem could be to do with ageing rather than with the dementia.

There are so many examples of this attempt to portray 'people with dementia' as almost a different species. They are, of course, just people.....who happen to have dementia.


  1. When I taught school if a child was dyslexic, there was a place in a town 120 miles away where the parents took them to have them tested for colors. Then the child would come back with colored plastic sheets and put those sheets over whatever it was they were reading, and it would help them see the letters in the right order. Sometimes it would be purple, sometimes blue and sometimes yellow. So I bought some see through plastic notebook dividers in different colors and whenever a child promoted in that had trouble reading, stumbling and backing up alot, I'd have them try the different colored sheets and invariably they would find one that worked for them. I don't know if this was a real fix, but my students always scored really high on norm referenced tests, usually 2 to 3 grades level than their performance the year before, and rarely did I have a student not be able to read aloud beautifully by the end of the eyar. So believe in the "color" thing being individual to the person. By the way, I hate having to prove I'm not a robot as the letters are hard to see, maybe I need a colored sheet. I took that off my blog:

  2. Yes, and at independent living, assisted living and the nursing home, I've seen the patients always start with dessert if it was put on the table before the meal served. Mom always took her extra dessert home and would eat it for breakfast the next day. I was concerned at the nursing home that the sugar treats was making dementia worse, but they told me in conference that a lack of calories and loss of weight has outlayed further damage to dementia sugar might cause. They'd rather keep them alive with calories than fat and demented. I totally understand that, but I just wanted it explained to me to be sure that's why they give so many sweet treats. Candy for bingo wins to everyone; ice cream floats for afternoon snacks along with a canned drink that takes the place of some meals. I think its boost. Also candy for gifts.