Alzheimer’s disease poses a number of challenges for people. In particular, during the middle and late stages of the disease, eating can be difficult for a number of reasons. Too many choices in foods, changes in taste and smell, and distractions can lead to disruptive mealtimes. Fortunately, there are some simple steps families can take in order to make mealtime easier for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
- Keep meals as routine as possible. Sticking to a familiar routine is hugely helpful for those with Alzheimer’s. Try to have mealtimes at the same time each day. Also serve them in a consistent place as well, so loved ones always know what to expect.
- Limit distractions. To help the person stay focus on eating, serve meals in a quiet environment away from TVs and other distractions.
- Offer familiar foods. It may be tempting to want to make mealtimes more exciting by changing up the menu, but serving familiar foods that you know the person likes will help ensure that they eat and enjoy their meal.
- Use high-contrast dishes: Alzheimer’s-related vision issues can sometimes make it hard to distinguish the food from the plate. Using high-contrast dishes, like solid white plates and bowls, can help people better see their food.
- Eat together. Making mealtimes more social can encourage the person to eat. It also allows you to bond and talk about your day or things you enjoy.
- Give the person plenty of time to eat. It is important to remember that it may take loved ones with Alzheimer’s longer to finish their food, so allow for ample time to eat.
- Avoid choking hazards. Cut food into small pieces and make sure it is soft enough for the person to eat. If it helps, try offering one piece of food at a time.
How Can Home Care Help Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s Eat Better?
Helping people with Alzheimer’s stay healthy and well-nourished can feel like an overwhelming task for family caregivers, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. The care team at Nightingale Homecare, serving families in Scottsdale, Peoria, Paradise Valley, and the surrounding areas, is here to help!
Our caregivers are well-trained in planning and preparing meals that are healthy, delicious, and easy for people with Alzheimer’s to eat. We work closely with families to determine the individual’s favorite foods and meals in order to help ensure they eat, and caregivers can also eat with the person to make mealtimes more enjoyable.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s who could benefit from our in-home care services, give us a call today at (602) 903-6793 or reach out to us online to learn how we can assist with meals and more.