5 Tips for Making Mealtime Easier for Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease
Home Care in Chicago IL
Lots of everyday situations become so much more complicated for an elderly loved one who has Alzheimer's disease. Here are some of the common difficulties you might face and what you can do about them.
Make the Food Easy to Spot
Sometimes visual distractions can make it difficult for your elderly loved one to actually spot the food on his plate. Use plain tableware, preferably in white, to allow the food to stand out more. If you use plates and other tableware that have bold patterns, your loved one might get more confused at mealtime.
Prepare for Agitation
If you're already prepared for the fact that your loved one is likely to get at least a little distracted and agitated during meals, you can deal with it more easily. Manage the obvious distractions, like the television or the radio, and keep the table clear of anything that isn't necessary to the meal. Some loved ones pace or need to break up the meal into segments before they eat the whole thing.
Try to work with your loved one rather than against him.
Try Smaller, More Frequent Meals
In some cases, you might need to offer smaller meals more often throughout the day in order to get your loved one to eat. Try offering one food at a time, for example, salad at one time and then a side dish or main entrée at a separate time a little while later. Your loved one can get distracted by having too much variety on his plate and this can help you keep him eating.
Use Utensils with Large Handles
At some point, your loved one might find it difficult to manage with standard utensils. One way to deal with this is to use forks, knives, and spoons that have larger handles. You can also find slip-on handles that slide over the handles of your existing utensils and make them easier to grasp. This is especially important if your loved one is dealing with other issues at the same time, like arthritis.
If meals are rushed at all, your loved one is less likely to eat as much as he should. You might also find that your loved one isn't chewing his food properly if he's being rushed and that can lead to choking. Try to always give your loved one plenty of time to eat and sit down with him so that you can relax and enjoy meals together.
A home care provider can help your senior loved one prepare, enjoy and clean up after meals, as well as many of the other tasks of daily living.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Chicago, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.