Eating healthy, filling meals can be challenging for seniors with Alzheimer’s, which is one of the reasons this progressive disorder often results in malnutrition. Here’s a quick look at six simple tips you can use to enhance your ageing parent’s eating habits.
1. Start the Day Off with a Smoothie
Smoothies are very easy to make, and a single glass could provide your loved one with multiple servings of fruits and vegetables. If you aren’t interested in buying pre-made smoothies, you might want to invest in a high-quality blender. You can then experiment with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to create appetising flavour combinations. Supplements can also be added to smoothies if your loved one isn’t getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Professional care workers with specialised experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of support for older adults with the disease. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Sydney families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised 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.
2. Use Different Plates
When seniors have Alzheimer’s, certain shapes and colours can have a major impact on their demeanour. If your loved one becomes agitated during mealtimes, try replacing the tableware. Plain white plates are usually the best option for seniors with Alzheimer’s, but you can try out different colours and designs. You might also want to invest in sturdy plastic tableware that won’t break if it’s dropped.
3. Create a Relaxing Environment
Distractions can be very problematic for seniors with Alzheimer’s, which is why you need to create a quiet and relaxing environment while your loved one is eating. In addition to turning off all electronics, you can also close the blinds so there aren’t any moving shadows. Once the food is ready, talking should be kept to an absolute minimum. Trying to participate in a conversation could confuse and distract your loved one.
Ensuring an ageing loved one gets proper nutrition when he or she doesn’t want to eat can be exhausting for family carers. If you’re the primary family carer for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care services, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
4. Switch to Small Meals
One of the best ways to get seniors with Alzheimer’s to eat more food is to give them plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day. Large meals can be overwhelming for those individuals, and they might refuse to eat when they see huge plates of food in front of them. Simple finger foods such as sliced apples and chopped carrots are filling, nutritious, and fun to eat.
5. Praise the Food
Dining with your loved one is a good habit to get into, and you need to praise the food as much as possible while eating. Positive reinforcement can be a very powerful tool when working with an individual who has Alzheimer’s. You should also praise your loved one whenever he or she finishes a dish or takes a few large bites.
6. Try Different Foods
As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one’s taste in food might change entirely. Your loved one could suddenly dislike certain dishes and meals he or she used to enjoy. If your loved one isn’t eating enough, you need to try out different foods and flavours. You can also blend or chop the foods if your loved one seems to dislike specific textures.
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, Sydney Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care ageing adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in care workers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialised dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (02) 9158 3880 to learn about our flexible in-home Alzheimer’s care plans.