How to Encourage Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s to Eat

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Though Alzheimer’s care typically focuses on mental issues, this neurodegenerative condition can also lead to additional health conditions. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to feel weak because they cannot eat properly. Staying well fed and getting proper nutrition keeps the brain healthy and assists in the fight against Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one no longer eats regularly due to Alzheimer’s, try these tips. 

Eat Together

Seniors with Alzheimer’s often need an example to follow. People generally enjoy eating with others, and they often feel hungrier when someone around them is eating. Try sitting in front of your loved one while eating. Avoid distracting your loved one and encourage him or her to try the food.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care company. Mississauga Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Serve Visually Appealing Meals

Red and yellow plates can stimulate hunger, while blue or black plates might stop hunger. The human brain tends to associate the color red with feelings of hunger, which is why so many fast food restaurants use red in their decorating and packaging. This little psychological trick can help your loved one eat up to 25 percent more at a meal. In addition to paying attention to plate color, try to serve meals that look enticing and are neatly arranged on a plate. Seniors with Alzheimer’s are very visual, so they are more likely to eat something that looks nice.

Provide Smaller Portions

This might seem counterintuitive, but serving less food can motivate a senior to eat more. Instead of trying to make your loved one eat big meals, consider offering small amounts of food throughout the day. This method takes a bit of patience, and you will need to keep better track of what your loved one is eating to make sure he or she is getting enough. If you are willing to spend a little extra time, it can be quite effective in the long run.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may need assistance with eating and other daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Mississauga seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Make Familiar and Favorite Foods

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s avoid unrecognizable objects, so it might not be a good idea to introduce your loved one to kale smoothies and quinoa salads. Try to include at least one of your loved one’s favorite food items at each meal. Even if it is not the healthiest option, he or she will at least get enough calories. You can alter recipes slightly to include more nutritious items. For example, pureed vegetables can be put in spaghetti sauce, or fruit can be added to pancakes.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Mississauga live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs high-quality in-home care, call one of our professional Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 today.