How Do You Feed Someone with Dementia?

Tips for Feeding an Aging Parent with Dementia

By , 9:00 am on

Mealtimes can be a huge source of frustration for seniors with dementia as well as their caregivers. Instead of sitting quietly and eating meals, dementia may cause your senior loved one to refuse food, make a huge mess, get upset, or become incapable of eating independently. Many seniors with dementia don’t get enough nutrition, and being hungry can further worsen their symptoms. Here are a few tips for feeding aging adults with dementia.

Avoid Distractions

Seniors often forget to eat when they’re distracted, or they may get too upset to eat. You can reduce these issues by keeping meals as calm and simple as possible. Avoid busy table settings, eating near the television, busy restaurants, or patterned dishes. Try to just serve one or two food items at a time in a relaxing and quiet setting. 

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 Chandler 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.

Eat Together

After spending a lifetime eating with their family members, many seniors resist eating when it suddenly becomes a solo experience. To keep your loved one from feeling lonely, always make the time to eat together. Your parent may enjoy eating with others.

Cook the Right Types of Foods

Seniors with dementia tend to react badly to unfamiliar things, so it may not be a good time to experiment with cooking. Many older adults do best with meals they have eaten since they were very young. In the later stages of dementia, you may want to focus on foods that are easy to eat. Provide finger foods, cut things into bite-sized pieces, or serve soft meals like scrambled eggs or pureed soups.

Promote Independence

Your loved one may resist the idea of being fed by someone else. Fortunately, it’s possible to find adaptive spoons, no-spill cups, rimmed plates, and other tools meant to be used by those with motor control issues. Give your parent plenty of time to eat so he or she feel rushed, and don’t focus on keeping the area clean and neat. 

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Chandler seniors can depend on.

Be Flexible with Food Choices

There may be times when your loved one refuses to eat regardless of what you do. Your parent may suddenly claim distaste for a favorite food or decide that he or she is vegetarian. In these situations, resist the temptation to get frustrated and tell your loved one that he or she has to eat the food. It’s important for your parent to get the proper nutrition and stay calm instead of eating the thing you want him or her to eat.

Dementia is a major health issue among the elderly. 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 elder care Chandler, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.