A diagnosis of dementia- Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form- often comes as a shocker for both the person diagnosed and their family members. It is a progressive condition that worsens with time. Most family members are in dilemma about how to go about the condition in terms of the best way to take care, future course of action, etc. One noticeable change that Alzheimer’s brings about is the person not eating enough. This mostly happens in the later stages. This eventually results in rapid weight loss, which becomes more of an issue as the disease deteriorates, and they are also more vulnerable to infections or viruses.
There are reasons why someone dealing with dementia may not eat enough, or the person’s loss of interest in food. Knowing the reasons will help you better handle these issues at home. By knowing the reasons, you can ensure your senior is getting adequate nutrition no matter how little she or he eats. Of course, if required you are free to seek assisted living Anthem services for better health outcomes.
Compromised appetite– This may result as a side effect from the medications they have to take. Medicines may as well interfere with the person’s sense of taste. Talk to their doctor in regards to any other substitute for medications that can hold them in good stead.
Social withdrawal– Mealtimes serve as a great social activity. Alzheimer’s leads to social withdrawal, and this lack of socialization pose a big mealtime challenge. Dining alone can suppress appetite and lead to poor eating and poor nutrition.
Cutlery confusion– Alzheimer’s or dementia also takes a toll on an individual’s physical motor skills to effectively carry out everyday functions, such as walking and standing, eating, etc. They may not be able to discern the various cutleries, their ability to grab a spoon instead of a fork to have soup is drastically reduced. A solution is adaptive cutlery for dementia patients, such as angled or weighted spoons, forks, which will ease any stress associated with eating.
Plate is filled up to the tee– A full plate can catch someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia off guard. Deciding which food item to begin from can be a difficult choice to make. You can ease this by serving the meal in courses, and it’s also wise to serve a plate with food cut into bite-sized pieces. It is a good idea to serve finger foods.
The importance of proper nutrition for dementia patients cannot be emphasized enough. He or she needs to eat a balanced diet comprising plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products to meet their nutritional requirements. Even if they are eating these in low volumes, it will ensure the upkeep of a good nutritional status even if they aren’t eating or drinking enough. Good nutrition contributes greatly towards a dementia senior’s quality of life. Hopefully the aforementioned underlying reasons why an older adult isn’t eating well will help you take appropriate steps to help get them back on the path to wellness.