My mum has dementia and has recently been putting her dinners in a plastic bag and showing my dad an empty plate. Why would she do this?
It is very common for dementia patients to stop eating. There are many speculations and many reasons why this may be occurring with your Mom. Food may not taste or smell as it once did to her. Her favorite meal may now send her running. She probably will not be able to articulate in words what the difference is, as she probably has no idea herself.
She seems to be aware enough to know that you want her to clean her plate, which she has still figured out a way to do. She may think she has already eaten, even though she hasn’t. She may feel full, even though she hasn’t eaten all day. She may just not understand the food is what her body needs. Try switching up foods with different textures, different smells, different colors and offer some to eat with fingers and some with utensils. Try eating in different locations: at the dinner table, in the living room, outside or even in bed. Sit with her and eat with her, even if it is a slow process.
Try all these different ideas and see if anything helps or makes a difference. There make not be one magical solution, but in the end, you want to know you tried all you could to keep her healthy for as long as possible. We wish you luck with her eating and thank you for writing in.