Alzheimer's disease is unforgivable and affects 1 in 14 people over 65 in the UK. The cognitive disorder begins as a mild memory loss problem and gradually progresses into severe symptoms. Brain activity and thinking capabilities deteriorate with age. It often strips the patient’s identity and autonomy.
Additionally, confusion and spatial disorientation can make independent eating difficult for many. Hence, caregivers and family members are advised to adapt mealtime practices to accommodate these changes.
This article shares helpful tips to overcome mealtime challenges for people dealing with Alzheimer's disease.
Here’s what you need to know:
Alzheimer's Disease and Eating Challenges: How Can You Help?
Alzheimer's patients make poor eating decisions due to lack of motivation, depression, and inability to manage regular eating utensils. Additionally, increased forgetfulness might cause them to forget whether or not they ate something. Medications and an aversion to strong taste and smells are other underlying problems.
Caregivers and families can bring their mealtime on track through different strategies. Focus on providing patients with wholesome and nutritious meals by forming suitable routines.
Here are some mealtime support tips that can work for you:
Prepare a Well-Balanced and Nutritious Diet
Unless advised by the primary care provider, you don’t have to make drastic changes in an Alzheimer’s patient’s diet plan. Yet, it’s essential to ensure that they are eating well. Forming a manageable routine and meal plan can prompt good eating habits.
Start by selecting their favourite food and incorporating nutritious elements into the mix. Add whole grains, leafy veggies and fresh produce to their diet. Frequent consumption of healthy food, even if it’s in smaller servings, can help. You can cut the pieces in small bite-sized servings for easy intake.
Alternatively, you can substitute food for nutrient-rich fluids if swallowing isn’t easy for your loved one. Soups, chicken broth, fresh fruit juices, smoothies, and milkshakes are good options for this scenario.
Select Bamboo Cutlery for Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients
According to Alzheimer's Society, eating challenges might arise when patients experience physical and sensory difficulties. For instance, they might have trouble picking up the fork and spoon to eat independently. Patterned plates and utensils can also confuse them.
In addition to this, metallic cutlery leaves behind a lingering taste. It can also be too sharp for patients that often miss their mouth by inches when they try to eat by themselves.
Bamboo cutlery for Alzheimer's and dementia has become a good alternative for many nursing homes and caregivers. That’s because these utensils don’t feature a mish-mash of patterns or shapes. They are also easy to grip, manoeuvre, and use during mealtimes. Plus, the soft edges and smooth finish make them gentle on hands and mouths.
Moreover, the 100% natural bamboo cutlery set here and reusable cutlery packs here have no bitter aftertaste. Our products are durable and environmentally safe. These are bonus points for families and nursing home facilities trying to reduce plastic and adopt a zero-waste lifestyle.
Setting the Mood
Behavioural changes are another common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. It can make people you love and care for moody. They might become aggressive, fussy, and cranky during mealtimes. In addition to this, these patients are distracted easily. Due to this, their temperament doesn’t allow them to sit still and eat properly.
Therefore, you can try putting soft music on when you serve food or take them outside (if possible) for daytime meals. Breakfast and lunch on the patio or backyard will be a soothing experience for many. We also suggest having a few bites yourself when they are eating. The companionship can do wonders during mealtime.
Eating challenges related to Alzheimer's disease worsen with time. This has a debilitating effect on the patient as they struggle to perform everyday activities. Serving smaller portions, whipping up healthy snacks, and creating a happy eating environment can help. It makes them feel comfortable and secure during dining situations.
Early intervention and mealtime support enable patients to form good habits. We help facilitate a seamless transition with eco-friendly bamboo cutlery for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Our soft bamboo utensils are easy to handle and use. Plus, they have no aftertaste like metallic counterparts. These qualities make them a good fit under these circumstances.
In addition to this, caregivers and families can practice a sustainable lifestyle while caring for the elderly.
Would you like to know more about the benefits of bamboo cutlery? Read this interesting post for more details about this green, clean, and well-designed product.