Less energy, weakened muscles, changes in mentation, and certain medical diagnosis are some obstacles that our seniors
Tips to help someone with Dementia to eat more
People who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia eat less than they used to. This might be caused by medical issues with chewing, swallowing, or digestion.
People might lose interest in food for a number of reasons. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including loss of taste, smell, memory loss, and the false belief that they have already eaten. Certain medications might also have an impact on one’s appetite.
As the disease develops, the capacity and desire to eat worsens and ensuring that someone living with dementia has a nutritional meal or consumes enough food may become a major practical and emotional challenge for the caregiver.
We’ve put up a list of practical suggestions for encouraging someone with dementia to eat more.
1. Make it simpler to eat: There’s a considerable probability that eating will become a concern for dementia patients at some point in their lives. It might also be more difficult to use utensils. Consider finger food to encourage them to eat more regularly, small, and often.
Here are a few examples:
Fruits with strong contrasting colors, such as raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and grapes, are excellent examples.
Nuts, such as almonds and Brazil nuts, are high in protein and vital lipids.
Crisps — there are healthier choices, like veggie crisps.
Handheld sandwiches, chicken fingers, and other items that can be held.
Crudites of vegetables with dips.
2. Be patient while trying to help someone with dementia not eating: Trying to convince a person living with dementia who is at the point of not eating, that they must eat is counterproductive. Trying to explain why is also detrimental.
You should take on the role of meal guide. As the guide, you must demonstrate how to eat each and every bite as though it’s the first time they’ve ever eaten. Keep strong eye contact and a bright smile on your face and don’t interrupt the individual by talking.
When you’re trying to assist someone and it’s not going as well as you’d want, it might be frustrating.
They will observe how you do it and slowly copy it, but they will not be able to learn unless you demonstrate it to them. Take a deep breath and try again if you feel yourself feeling upset.
3. Stop talking: If you try to multitask with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will get quickly distracted and confused. We want to make eating their meal as simple as possible for them, and we want them to feel at ease and calm while doing so.
Stop talking to the individual when you’re dining with them; minor remarks regarding the meal are fine, but not overly so. Confirm that they can concentrate on the work at hand, one at a time.
4. Eat tiny portions all day long: Contrary to popular belief, humans do not require three main meals every day. According to research, there are no significant differences between eating three normal meals per day, two large meals per day, or five little meals per day. 5 little meals might assist to maintain a constant blood pressure, which is a plus.
If you can only get your parents to eat little portions at regular intervals throughout the day, that’s not an issue. It all comes down to figuring out what works best for you.
People with dementia who have difficulty swallowing may benefit from eating smaller quantities. Some varieties of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s and Lewy Body Dementia, cause difficulty swallowing.
5. Keep an eye on the hydration: Dehydration may be avoided by being proactive in supplying drinks throughout the day. Even early dementia can affect a person’s capacity to remain hydrated due to loss of memory, meaning, and initiative. It’s crucial to remember to provide water and other drinks throughout the day.
6. Arrange the food on the plate in a pleasing manner: To determine which individual responds best, you may need to experiment with different sizes, textures, and tastes of food.
Here are a few pointers to help you switch things up:
Adjust the color of the foods on the dish – different colored veggies assist to brighten the meal.
Reduce the amount of food on the plate and the number of individual pieces.
Consider what kinds of foods they’ve always liked in the past. Place it on a plate with another meal item.
Cut the meal into little pieces, especially the meat.
Change the texture of the food by mashing, boiling, or baking potatoes, for example.
7. Praise the food: When one person is enjoying their meal, it inspires others at the table to do the same. Share your excitement as a family and compliment the food on how delicious it is.
A simple statement like “this food is wonderful” will spark others’ attention and urge them to try the dish. Try that the next time you sit down together: take the lead by eating first and immediately responding with a complimentary comment.
Learn more about healthy eating for people with Alzheimer’s disease at Silver Sitters.
How are we doing?
Submit a review and let us know what you think about our services.