For someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias (and their caregivers), mealtimes can often be very challenging. Some reasons include outside distractions, difficulty in seeing food, forgetting that food and hydration are essential, inability to use utensils and more.
Take a look at these tips that might make mealtimes easier for you and your loved ones:
Make the food easy to see
Sometimes your loved one may not be able see the food clearly, for example chicken breast with white rice on a white plate. If the person is not on a pureed diet, try to select food that is colourful and easily distinguishable on the plate and the presentation can help encourage a person to eat. Think about herbs and spices that will add to the aroma and possible offset some of the age related decline in senses of taste and smell.
Add special touches
When eating becomes stressful for a person, the result will often be a reduced appetite. Try to relax the person and make it a special event, perhaps celebrate something even if there is no celebration, just a reason to present a “special plate” for your loved one.
Try something different
When regular meals and portions start becoming too difficult for your loved one or if they are on a pureed diet, d, try to make something new with their food like smoothies.
Smoothies are a good idea for a meal because you can prepare them with vegetables or fruits that will help your loved one get the nutrients that they need in their daily life.
Simplify the table
Keep the table as simple as you can for your loved one. Try to avoid unnecessary utensils and condiments in the table. Avoid patterned cloths or placemats which might be a distraction.
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