My mother-in-law, 86, believes that all the food at the memory care facility she lives in is poisoned. She will only eat food that a family member brings to her, and even then only fast food that is still in the packaging (like a McDonald's hamburger). She never had any delusions or psychosis before. Is this the dementia or is there something else going on? We can't really afford to keep buying her fast food, but I'm afraid if we don't she will starve herself.


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It’s probably the dementia, but I would check to make sure she doesn’t have a UTI or other medical issue. Another tip in the meantime: save the wrappers and the bag from the fast food joint and wrap up the facility’s meals in it. You may also need to have buns on hand. So, for example, put the fish they prepare on a bun and wrap it up.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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