Tips for Persuading an Aging Adult with Alzheimer’s to Eat

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Malnutrition and Alzheimer’s often go hand in hand, and many people who have this cognitive disorder are unable to get enough calories every day. If left untreated, malnutrition can worsen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Luckily, with a solid dietary plan and a few changes to his or her eating habits, your senior loved one should be able to avoid some of those issues.

Work with Different Shapes, Colors, and Textures

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one’s food preferences could change quite a bit. If your loved one no longer seems interested in foods he or she used to love, you might want to experiment with different colors and textures. You should also cut up food into manageable pieces so your loved one doesn’t feel overwhelmed when sitting down to a meal. Trying to cut through dense foods can be stressful and confusing for seniors with Alzheimer’s, which could end up impacting your loved one’s appetite.

A trained Alzheimer’s caregiver can provide expertise and additional support to encourage your loved one to eat. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Remove Distractions During Mealtimes

Distractions are often a major problem for seniors who have this neurodegenerative disorder. When it comes time to share a meal with your loved one, make sure he or she can focus on the food in front of him or her. The table should have nothing on it other than the plate, cutlery, and a cup. You should also close the curtains to eliminate any moving shadows in the room. Putting on some classical music at a low volume could drown out other noises and put your loved one at ease as well.

Offer Plenty of Snacks

You may reach the point where sitting down to a meal with your loved one is completely impractical. If that time ever comes, you may need to offer smaller snacks throughout the day. Sliced fruit and vegetables are excellent options for seniors with Alzheimer’s, and produce is packed with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Making your loved one nutrient-dense shakes and smoothies is another tactic you might want to use. An ice-cold smoothie with a few scoops of protein powder will fill your loved one up and provide plenty of energy.

Helping seniors get proper nutrition when they don’t want to eat can be exhausting. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality homecare services, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Speak with the Pharmacist

Many older adults must take several pills every day, and drugs can have a huge impact on appetite. Whenever your loved one is prescribed a new medication, speak with the pharmacist about all the potential side effects. You can also ask the pharmacist about how the drugs are going to interact with one another. If some of those medications cause nausea or act as an appetite suppressant, you might want to consider alternative doses or different drugs. Make sure to check with your loved one’s primary doctor, who can also give you recommendations on how to increase your loved one’s appetite.

Professional caregivers with specialized experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of support for older adults with the disease. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Galt Ocean Mile Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (954) 909-0370 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.