6 Ways to Persuade a Senior Loved One Who Has Alzheimer’s to Eat
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.
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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.
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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.
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