One of the many ways that dementia can cause problems for seniors is by changing their experience with food. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may forget to eat meals and drink water throughout the day. Or they may develop aversions to certain colors, textures, or tastes because of the way that the dementia is affecting their brains. Seniors with Alzheimer’s often experience weight loss and may become malnourished because they aren’t eating enough or aren’t eating a balanced diet. An elder care provider can be a big help if you have a parent that is not eating the way they should because an elder care provider can track your senior parent’s meals. They can also help you make sure that your senior loved one is getting nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. If it’s becoming a struggle to get your senior loved one to eat and you’re worried about their health try these four tips to encourage them to eat regularly:
Make Mealtime Special
Making mealtime a special event can make your elderly parent more likely to eat a nutritious meal. You can put a tablecloth on the table or use the good china to make a meal special. Or you can come over for a certain meal each week, like having a big Sunday dinner. Try making some of the dishes that were often on the menu as a kid. For example, if your mom made spaghetti and meatballs every Tuesday night then drop by for dinner on Tuesday and make spaghetti and meatballs.
Prompt Them To Eat At Regular Times
When you’re with your senior parent you can suggest snacks to them are regular times to make sure that they’re eating on a regular basis. If your parent has an elder care provider the elder care provider can also make it part of the senior’s daily routine to have snacks at certain times. A protein bar or a peanut butter sandwich every few hours will help keep their blood sugar stable and give them more energy. It may also keep them from being irritable or combative because hunger can make people with dementia act in a more aggressive or challenging way.
Keep Protein Shakes On Hand
Protein shakes should always be in the fridge for snacks. It’s hard to get seniors to eat enough protein since many of them don’t like meat as they older or find it difficult to eat meat. Protein shakes are easy for seniors to drink, even seniors who have dementia and may have trouble swallowing as a result. Offer your senior parent a protein shake instead of a morning coffee to get their day started.
Decide For Them
Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s find it very difficult to make choices, so they just don’t. If you are offering your senior parent a choice between eggs and pancakes for breakfast, they may just not eat breakfast because they can’t decide. Instead of having them choose what they want to eat decide for them and tell them that you’re going to make some pancakes for breakfast or you’re making a salad for lunch.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Queens, NY please contact the caring staff at Prime Care, Inc. today. (212) 944-0244
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