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boychick
New Contributor

anxiety. over eating, insomnia,dementia carer

i am 85 years old ,my wife is 87 years old, she suffers with mixed pattern dementia,i am her carer,i have been with a  eating problem for most of my life but since my wife contracted dementia my over eating has got worse.I suffer with anxiety milled depression. My nerves are getting worse as the months go by. To make things worse i suffer with insomnia ,so i am awake nearly always at the middle of the night . i am not feeling sorry for my self ,and now am getting some help from age care and Australia dementia. Can anybody help ease my dilemmas with over eating causing me to gain much weight.

i try to get some exercise   but i have worn lower back vertebrates and am limited to do to much.  

3 REPLIES 3

Re: anxiety. over eating, insomnia,dementia carer

Hello @boychick and welcome to the forums

 

Thank you for taking the time to share some of your experiences here. It sounds as though things have been very difficult, though I'm glad to hear that you are now getting some additional support for both yourself and your wife.

 

While we wait for some more responses from our wonderful community I just wanted to leave this link to the Butterfly Foundation, as they have a great amount of information and support for those who struggle with a wide range of negative eating habits and disordered eating. 

 

I also wonder if this something that you've spoken to your doctor about? 

Re: anxiety. over eating, insomnia,dementia carer

Hello @boychick and welcome.

Its so important you feel supported while you're caring for your wife. There are all ages here on the forums. I'm a senior, younger than you, who's had help with diet and exercise.  

I got free lifestyle coaching from Diabetes Victoria as someone at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease . The coach rang me monthly for 6 months.  They talked about what to eat, when, and how much, and encouraged me to walk every day. I have lower back problems but mostly was OK with walking (until recently but that's another story with a different problem). 

After I started the Life! program my gp decided to give me a healthcare plan with a referral to a bulkbilling dietician who was able to check things like body composition (muscle mass vs bone etc) to give further advice re diet.  

It was all very helpful. I reduced my weight and waist measurement, and went from being prediabetic to the normal blood sugar range. I'm not sure how it's impacted my anxiety and sleep problems but I've come to enjoy my daily neighbourhood walks. 

The hardest thing was establishing the new habits but I found friendship and mutual support in a thread on this forum called Re: Walking for Wellness .

Best of luck @boychick 

 

Dimity

Re: anxiety. over eating, insomnia,dementia carer

Hello @boychick nice to meet you. I struggle with insomnia and random sleep patterns too. So do my brothers, even though our parents were very strict with sleep habits when we were kids. I think some people are just wired differently and that’s okay. It is a drag if you’re needing to get up early for appointments though and needing to be alert for various things. But I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that. I will say that when I slip into the late night/early morning pattern and want to change back I ask myself, what am I doing that I can do differently, and then I do that. Sometimes the fact that I play catch-up with an afternoon nap causes me to remain awake through the night. But so be it. The next day though, or once I have caught up with my sleep, I’ll cancel my daytime nana nap to try to sleep earlier in the eve. Gradually, this phases in a new sleep cycle for a while. Just be patient and gentle with yourself. I am going through a phase of life where I wake at 2 am if I sleep early, I stay awake and write with a cuppa til 4 and then go back to bed til 6:30. It seems to work and I’m getting about 6 hrs a night. 

Re overeating, I do that too! I actually am diabolically fast at eating and once beat a 6’3 guy in a Dagwood eating competition. So I have the capacity to eat abnormal amounts however, its not healthy. And comfort eating doesn’t lead to feeling comfortable. So, I trick myself. I use all sorts of ways, but usually begin problem solving in my mind by being honest with myself about what might actually be going on in a particular cycle that I’m in. One thing I’ve noticed is I overeat when the food tastes really good. So while in the overeating phase, I plan a few mega healthy meals, like nutritious meals involving greens…which taste amazing to me… So I get all my nutritional benefits : ) For me this is Asian ginger greens, or brocolli, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, olive oil and lemon. I eat as much of it as I want to and honestly, it’s hard to overeat that stuff so you don’t eat as much. But if you do, it’s fine : ) you cannot overeat veggies for long because of all the wonderful fibre and goodness. Another favourite is mashed potato, sweet potato and pumpkin with spinach leaves mixed through. You can eat that to town and back and it’s still going to make your body sing a happy tune. I cook it in a saucepan with a steamer tray on top - the veggies in the steamer tray taste so good with a little salt and pepper or your herbs and spices of choice. There is another fav of mine which is soup, made just with a little chicken and a lot of veggies including carrots and celery. The thing with that soup is you get extra hydrated and also nutritional boost but also, full. And it burns more energy than you ingest to digest, so you begin to change your brain chemistry around food…this helps reduce craving discomfort food. Essentially it’s crowding out other things. It adapts your microbiome to send improved signals to your brain. It’s a 3 day cycle. Try to choose healthy choices for 3 days and everything changes. Especially if you have fruit and porrage for breakfast. Try to stay away from bread, I do, it makes me crave other things unless it’s my own magical high fibre spelt recepe. Try salads for lunch. Fun salads. Rainbow salads with all the colours. When I actually commit and try something along those lines for 3 days, everything changes. Thankyou biology. Thank you science. Thank you nutrients. 

Next, time to move. Totally get the arthritis and creaky joints as I have rheumatoid arthritis which is like feeling 90 at 50 essentially. But I got that 10 years ago so I am a little way down the line and have learnt to manage it. So to keep moving, because it is essential to reduce muscle wasting, which we need to support joint mobility - try water. Not just any water but heated salt water if you can find it in your area. You will feel like a new man! And your wife may enjoy the freedom it brings too! Try googling heated saltwater pool and you are sure to find one in your area. Or google indoor pool, salt water. You don’t need hydrotherapy, although if you’re lucky enough to find it, go that! But any salt water pool is good. Heated salt water is optimal. Your body will dance on the inside and thank you : ) You will truly break free from the complaints you’ve shared because it is impossible to feel like crap once you get out of one of those pools. It’s it weightless and the salt does wonders, as does the water. In Asian countries they soak a lot for the health benefits. It’s a thing! I hope these ideas help and you can glean as little or as much as you like from my enthusiasm sharing this. It’s lovely to be able to offer my two cents worth because I get stuck too. We all do. Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone because if we always do what we’ve always done we’ll always get what we’ve already got. If you want more from life - you’ve got to seize the day. Whoops, I think I’ve just motivated myself to go for a swim. Here’s hoping

: ) My best to you @boychick and your darling wife. Be the force and/or may the force be in you.

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