Easier Mealtimes for Your Elderly Loved One if They Have Dementia

Many elderly people suffer from dementia. They often get confused and are not fully aware of their surroundings. They might not be aware of the food that has been placed on their plate. The results of these actions can often lead to an elderly person not getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

As a family caregiver, you can help make mealtimes easier for the elderly person in your life who is struggling with dementia. You can start by following some of the tips mentioned here today.

Eating Area

In-Home Care Belle Meade TN - Easier Mealtimes for Your Elderly Loved One if They Have Dementia
In-Home Care Belle Meade TN – Easier Mealtimes for Your Elderly Loved One if They Have Dementia

Many dining areas can be distracting. This can cause a person with dementia to focus on their environment instead of their food. It is important to create a quiet, simple eating area for your loved one. This type of environment should help your elderly loved one to concentrate on the food you put on their plate.

Sit with Your Loved One

Many studies show that companionship improves a person’s appetite. This means that you might have to make time to sit down with your elderly loved one during meals and snack times. Try setting a place for yourself at the table and eat with your elderly loved one. The companionship alone might help them to stay focused on eating. It could also deter them from getting distracted by other elements in the room.

Keep Talking and Noise to a Minimum

It can be confusing for people with dementia to do more than one thing at a time. This is why it is essential to keep talking and noise to a minimum. Although it can be helpful to eat with your loved one, it might be necessary to avoid talking too much over mealtimes.

Use Red Dishes

Some studies show that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients eat about 25% more of their food when it is served on red plates rather than simple white plates. This means you might be able to help your elderly loved one eat more by serving their food in red dishes.

Get Easy-to-Use Dishes

When it comes to dishes, you might also want to get easy-to-use dishes made to help dementia patients. For instance, plastic cups with handles make it easier for dementia patients to enjoy their favorite drink. Plates with a little higher lip could help to reduce the amount of food that slips off your elderly loved one’s plate.

No Patterns

It is also important to avoid dishes that have patterns on them. Some chinaware is filled with colorful flowers and patterns that can make it difficult to distinguish between the plate and food. This can be very distracting for people with dementia. It can draw their attention away from their food and direct their attention to their dish instead.

Making mealtimes easier for your loved one who is struggling with dementia can be difficult. However, the best thing you can do is to try and simplify the dishes you use for serving, eat with your loved one, and keep noise to a minimum. If you are unable to be there for meals, hire in-home care providers to help during meal times. In-home care providers can also shop, cook and clean up from these meals.

Lastly, do your best to be patient with your elderly loved one during mealtimes.

Source: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/infographics/tips-make-mealtimes-easier-people-alzheimers

If you or an aging loved-one are considering In-Home Care Services in Belle Meade TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Belle Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.

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