Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease often means ensuring he or she eats plenty of nutrient-dense foods. A healthy diet won’t necessarily reverse the symptoms, but it can boost mood, cognitive abilities, and overall energy levels. The following tips may help you convince your loved one to eat nutritious dishes instead of junk food.
1. Supplement with Rich Shakes and Smoothies
With a few healthy ingredients, you can turn a bland smoothie into a delicious beverage that tastes just like a shake. Shakes and smoothies are easy to consume, which may make mealtimes less stressful for seniors. You can prepare a healthy and mouthwatering shake with nothing more than a few scoops of sugar-free protein powder, a handful of ice, and some vitamin D milk.
Seniors with serious health issues often need help preparing meals. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Chandler Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
2. Cook with Bright Fruits and Vegetables
Many chefs claim people first eat with their eyes, and this saying rings true at every age. The presentation of a dish could have a major impact on how much your loved one enjoys the meal. Colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets are nutrient-dense and fun to eat.
3. Provide Two Healthy Choices for Each Meal
You might be able to “trick” your loved one into eating a healthy meal by offering two options. Instead of saying your loved one has to eat a specific dish, you can ask which healthy dish he or she would like to eat. Your loved one will feel like he or she has much more control over dietary choices even though you are steering him or her in the right direction. A similar tactic can be used for beverages, snacks, and desserts as well.
4. Create Catchy Names for Healthy Foods
Making up catchy names for healthy foods is an old tactic parents have been using for decades. As your loved one’s disorder progresses, calling the foods silly names could serve as a distraction when he or she becomes visibly irritated over eating options. Cucumbers might become submarines or broccoli could be called mini-trees.
From eating nutritious meals to managing daily activities, older adults with Alzheimer’s disease may need help with an array of tasks. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Chandler, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
5. Alter the Size, Shape, and Texture of Foods
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often have a difficult time explaining why they dislike certain foods. If your loved one no longer seems to enjoy healthy foods he or she once loved, you might want to try changing up the size or shape of those dishes. Cutting up sweet potatoes or cauliflower into smaller bites makes them easier to eat.
6. Use Dips, Dressings, and Marinades
Many of the dips and dressings found in the grocery store have quite a bit of processed sugar, but using these products may be necessary at times. A large bowl of fresh produce will still be nutritious even if your loved one is dipping the sliced vegetables into a dressing.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Chandler, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.