Meals can quickly become a battlefield if your elderly family member has dementia. Foods that she used to love may no longer appeal to her and she might have a tough time expressing preferences to you. These ideas might make mealtime easier for you and for her.
Keep the Meal and the Table as Simple as Possible
If there is a lot of extra stuff on the table, that’s going to be distracting for your elderly family member. Remove anything that isn’t necessary and keep the table as simple as you can. You may want to avoid putting food on the table “family style,” as well, because that can also be a distraction.
Reduce Distractions as Much as You Can
Reducing other distractions, like noise and too much light, can also help your senior to focus on eating. If you find that there’s anything that does help, such as music she enjoys that’s turned down low, give that a try. Anything that keeps her from eating, though, is something that doesn’t need to be happening right then.
Learn the Right Temperature for Your Senior’s Food
Your senior may have some very distinct preferences that might even be different from before she developed dementia. For instance, if her food is too cold or even too warm, this might be a problem for her. Do what you can to learn those preferences, especially in terms of temperature, so that you can aim for that happy medium more often.
Help the Food to Stand out to Her
People with dementia don’t process visual cues in the same way they did before the dementia developed. That means that food might be more difficult for your senior to see if it blends in on the plate. Using brightly colored plates can help to make food more obvious to her.
Offer Smaller Servings
If your elderly family member has trouble eating enough food, it might be a good idea to start offering smaller servings. This can encourage her to eat a little bit and she may even eat more afterward. Too large a serving can be intimidating and is more likely to sit on the plate.
Food can get way more complicated than you’re prepared for when your senior has dementia. Working with elderly care providers can help you to spot other issues that your senior might have with eating, and they can help you to find solutions.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Ontario, CA please contact the caring staff at Motherly Comfort Home Care, LLC today at (909) 610-3222.