If you are a family caregiver for an aging adult who is struggling with cognitive function declines such as due to Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, one issue that you might have noticed is increased difficulty getting the nutrition that they need.
Many seniors with this type of function decline have difficulty remembering when they are supposed to eat, how often they are supposed to eat if they have already eaten, why they should eat, or what foods they should eat. They may also struggle with no longer being able to properly taste food or not enjoying the food that they once did. This can result in them not getting enough of the nutrition that they need to keep their body healthy and functioning. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help to encourage better nutrition for your senior see, including making simple changes to their mealtime routine.
Use these mealtime tips to encourage better nutrition for your senior:
Make mealtime only about the meal. This is not the time to multitask or to try to handle other things. Too much going on can confuse and frustrate your parent, and cause them to be even more resistant to eating. When it is time to eat, turn off all distractions, stop all activities, and focus only on the meal
Encourage your parent to eat in the dining room or at the kitchen table. Giving them a specific space that is dedicated to eating will help them relate this area to eating and remind them of what they are supposed to be doing when they go there. Allowing them to eat in front of the television or in bed can create confusion and disrupt their routine
Clear off the table. Remove centerpieces or decorative items that could be distracting or confusing for your parents. This is particularly important when related to decorative items that look like food, such as fake fruits. Consider using a simple white tablecloth that will help to create better contrast between the table and the food
Bring their own plate. Rather than bringing large platters of food to the table, build individual plates in the kitchen and bring them to your parent. This will make eating less daunting and help your parent to focus on their food
Think small. Give your parent small servings of nutritional food, breaking the meal into several courses of one or two items each. This encourages them to eat a more varied diet and ensure that they do not get overwhelmed by a large quantity of food. You can always offer them more if they are still hungry
How can senior care help?
Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them if you want to encourage their highest quality of life as they age in place. An elderly home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, provide additional companionship and support, and help your parent to live a lifestyle that is as fulfilling, engaged, and independent as they age in place.
These services can include everything from safe and reliable transportation, assistance with tasks such as running errands, physical support to assist with mobility issues, help with keeping the home clean, personal care tasks, and more. As their family caregiver, this can give you a tremendous sense of peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or a loved-one are considering Senior Care in Lorton, VA, please contact the caring staff at Quality Health Services LLC. Call today 703-910-7081.
In the course of his career he has obtained different instructor certifications and trains people on how to save lives using American Heart Association guidelines for Basic Life support, First Aide and Advance Cardiac Life Support. He has been an advocate for caregiver training and have obtained Train-the-Trainer certifications which have enabled him to train caregivers to help seniors, along with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, function well at home and in their communities.
Ivo is grounded in the belief that people do better in their familiar environment. He started Quality Health Services, LLC in 2010 to provide the highest quality of “In-Home” care with compassion and diligence. Also, by promoting and supporting every client’s optimum level of independence, quality of life and well-being while preserving their dignity.
"Grounded in the knowledge that people are happiest at home, we have made it our priority to help our patients remain and thrive in their familiar environment – HOME. "
Latest posts by Ivo Ngosong, RN, Owner (see all)
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- Mealtime Tips to Encourage Better Nutrition for Your Senior - February 8, 2018