In the past, your elderly family member might have spent a good bit of her time and energy making sure she was eating right. But after a dementia diagnosis, her attitudes toward eating and toward nutrition can change.
Your Senior’s Eating Habits Can Change Dramatically
As dementia changes your senior’s brain, she’s likely to experience changes to her eating habits, too. She may find that some textures and tastes are no longer appealing to her. It’s also important to note that in the past, your senior might have eaten specific foods simply because she knew they were healthier choices. As dementia progresses, she doesn’t have those same cognitive pathways in place, so she’s probably not consciously willing to eat foods she doesn’t like.
Start Tracking What and When She Eats
Your elderly family member might be eating less than you think she is, so it’s a good idea to start tracking her food intake. It’s important as well to track her water intake along with other fluids. You might start to notice that your senior prefers certain types of foods at different times per day. You can also start to notice what some new favorites are, as well as what foods she no longer wants to eat.
Adopt a Schedule for Eating
Another technique you can start to use might involve setting up a timed routine for eating. It’s possible that instead of eating three larger meals per day, your senior starts to do better with smaller meals eaten more often through the day. This can help to keep her blood sugar steadier and ensure that she’s eating enough. Also, if your elderly family member has been self-feeding she may have cut back dramatically on how much she’s eating. With a schedule, you can see what she’s eating.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor about Boosting Nutrition
With some of the data you’re collecting you can make better decisions about your senior’s nutrition. Talk with her doctor about what you can do to help your elderly family member to get the nutrients that she needs. Her doctor might recommend supplementation or other ways to get more nutrients into her daily diet.
It’s challenging to keep up with your senior’s nutritional needs and whether they’re being met, but adding in the variable of dementia makes that so much more difficult. Senior care providers can help you to make sure that she’s getting the foods that she needs and that she’s eating regularly. Their help can make tracking her nutritional intake much easier, too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Wall, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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