How to Feed an Elderly Parent with Dementia

Tips for Feeding an Aging Parent Living with Dementia

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Mealtimes can be difficult for family caregivers, especially if their aging loved ones are living with dementia. However, adding a few changes to the schedule and meals could make things a little easier. Here are some tips that can help family caregivers feed their loved ones with dementia.

Limit Distractions

Background noises can disrupt eating times for seniors with dementia. Find a nice quiet place for your loved one to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s important to choose the same place each day. Consistency can prevent confusion and behavioral challenges in older adults with dementia. Let your loved one’s guests know he or she shouldn’t be disturbed during mealtimes so they can plan their visits according to his or her schedule. The television should be turned off, along with any audio players. You can shut the windows to keep outside noises at a minimum. The fewer the distractions during these times, the better for you and your parent. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Dallas in-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Explain What’s Being Served

Loss of appetite is common in aging adults with dementia, which could be due to medication side effects, a decreased sense of smell, or the inability to recognize the foods. If your loved one doesn’t recognize certain foods, you can make mealtimes easier by letting him or her know what you’re serving. Get your loved one involved in the cooking process and identify the ingredients. As you place the food on the fork or spoon, go over the benefits of the food and the importance of healthy eating.

Don’t Rush

Give your parent plenty of time to eat. If your loved one feels rushed, he or she might become upset and agitated and refuse to finish eating as a result. Let your loved one eat at his or her own pace. If your loved one takes a few bites and then starts asking questions, answer the questions and wait until he or she is ready to eat again. Seniors with dementia need to consume the proper nutrients to boost their health, so your objective is to make sure your loved one eats all the fruits, vegetables, and other brain-boosting foods you’ve prepared.

Eating issues in the advanced stages of dementia can make caring for seniors increasingly challenging. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Dallas, TX, families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Monitor Servings

Loading your loved one’s plate with a lot of food could be overwhelming, so stick to small servings. Although a variety of foods is best for seniors with dementia, don’t overload your loved one’s plate. You could use a larger plate so the portions don’t look as big. Another idea is to serve one or two foods at a time instead of putting all the foods on the plate at once. For instance, you could serve veggies and lean meats first, then follow up with whole grains and nutritious fruit, which may be less intimidating.

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Dallas families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400 to learn about the high quality of our in-home dementia care services.

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