Aging adults with dementia often have a difficult experience with meals. Either they’re not interested in eating much at all or they might get easily distracted while trying to eat. Things get even more complicated if you have to help your elderly family member to eat each bite.
Keep the Table Simple and Focus on the Purpose
When it’s time to eat, make sure that the table is as simple as possible. Plates, utensils, and drinks should be the only things on the table. Anything else can prove to be a distraction for your senior and even for you. This also helps to cut down on cleanup because you can just run a damp cloth over the table once the plates are cleared.
Be Clear about What Foods Are on the Plate
Your senior might not always remember what the different foods on the plate are. And if you’re trying new foods or new recipes, that might mean she doesn’t know what’s there at all. Identify what’s on the plate and make sure that you let her know what each bite has, especially if you’re feeding her.
Offer Plenty of Fluids While Eating
People with dementia often don’t drink enough fluids, so meals are a great time to make up for that. Something you might consider is offering your elderly family member a sip of water or something else that’s hydrating in between bites. This does a few things. It can help her to wash down food more easily, especially if she has issues swallowing, and it also ensures that her mouth gets cleared.
Be Mindful of What’s Going On
Meals can be a prime opportunity for multitasking. Lots of people watch the news or catch up on other activities while eating. But this is a fantastic opportunity for you and your senior to truly connect with each other. If you’re engaged with her, your senior is more likely to engage with eating and with the conversation you have with her. Even if you’re not sure whether this is something your elderly family member needs or not, give it a try.
It can be difficult sometimes to help your senior to eat as well as she needs to because of the changes dementia creates in her brain. Senior care providers can help you to learn the techniques that can make mealtime less difficult for both you and your aging family member.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Cleveland, OH please contact the caring staff at R-DAYs Home Care Services today! Visit our Website, or Call us! 440-579-3352