Dementia & Nutrition
As dementia progresses, meeting nutritional needs may become challenging. Difficulties with eating and drinking may arise. Communicating eating schedules and food preferences may be problematic. The senses of smell and taste may become impaired, affecting everyday food choices. Your loved one may feel overwhelmed by meal options, forget to eat, or struggle with utilizing eating utensils.
Eating a well-balanced diet is especially important for individuals living with dementia. Addressing basic nutrition can help ease behavioral symptoms, establish routines and contribute to their overall wellbeing.
A Home Care Aide’s Role
Providing regular, nutritious meals are a crucial part of caring for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. As the disease progresses, unintended weight loss and poor food intake can lead to malnutrition and health consequences such as reduced mobility, impaired posture, decreased strength, and increased fall risks.
Presidio’s experienced Home Care Aides can help your loved one achieve optimal nutrition with these strategies:
1. Meal Preparation. Our Home Care Aide will take the time to understand your loved ones’ food preferences so that they can provide fresh, well-balanced, and delicious meals that are to their liking. Our Aide can shop for groceries, cook meals, prepare snacks, and take care of cleanup.
2. Form a Routine. To help your loved one develop a healthy daily routine, our Home Care Aide can encourage enjoying meals and snacks at the same times every day. Establishing structure can help to decrease restlessness that might otherwise be felt by your loved one.
3. Maximize Mealtime. To help your loved one maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to maximize mealtimes by preparing foods that are protein-rich and high in calories. Our Home Care Aide will take care to integrate fruits and vegetables into diets, whether it’s by tossing together a simple salad, steaming up vegetables, or wrapping up the meal with a seasonal fruit bowl. Beverages such as whole milk and juices can be incorporated into your family member’s diet to aid in calorie consumption.
4. Encourage Exercise. Beyond a nutrient-packed meal plan, Presidio’s Home Care Aides can remind, motivate, assist, and even participate in exercise routines as well as prescribed physical therapy programs to enhance your family member’s appetite.
Nutrition is an important part of your loved one’s ongoing dementia care, and our Home Care Aides are ready to help your family member feel his or her best. Contact Us to learn about how we care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia.