How to Motivate Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s to Eat

By Lutgarda Mariano, 9:00 am on

Some seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty chewing, swallowing, and digesting food, while others may lose interest in eating. However, it is important for your senior loved one to eat a well-balanced diet. Here are some of the things you can do to encourage your loved one to eat. 

Use Colorful Plates

Colorful plates could motivate your loved one to eat, and the color will make the food stand out. The use of colorful plates stimulates interest in seniors with Alzheimer’s, enticing them to eat more. 

Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease may need assistance with eating and other daily activities. 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. Victoria 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.

Simplify the Eating Process

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one may find it difficult to hold utensils. Consider serving finger foods and snacks that can be eaten with the hands. For example, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and some forms of chicken can be eaten in smaller quantities without the use of utensils.

Make Eye Contact 

Sit directly in front of your loved one at the dinner table. When you make eye contact, wait for him or her to smile back at you. Continue making eye contact with your loved one, and wait for him or her to follow your lead. This process can take time, but the more frequently you follow this routine, the easier eating could become for your loved one. 

Remain Patient 

Patience is the most crucial factor to consider when motivating your loved one to eat. You will likely have to repeatedly explain why it is important to eat. Be the guide, and show your loved one how to eat the food, one bite at a time. Explain what he or she is eating and the benefits he or she could receive from eating each item. Keep a smile on your face while being the guide, and try not to lose your patience. Remember your loved one cannot control the circumstances or the disease. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Victoria families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.

Make Food Easy to Eat

The way food is displayed is important for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Placing less food on the plate may make it easier for your loved one to eat. If the plate is loaded with food, your loved one may become intimidated and refuse to eat. Cut up the food into small pieces to make the meal more manageable for your loved one. Add a variety of food to brighten up the meal, such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Change the food texture until your loved one develops a preference. For example, mash the potatoes instead of baking them.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Victoria, BC, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. If your aging loved one needs high-quality at-home care, call Home Care Assistance at (250) 592-4881 today.

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