How Does Alzheimer's Impact Eating Habits?

Memory Care Fort Worth

Part of any nursing care plan for Alzheimer’s patients in Cedar Park is addressing dietary concerns. At each stage, Alzheimer’s disease has an effect on patients’ eating habits, which means patients need assistance to ensure that they get the nutrition they need. Here is a closer look at how Alzheimer’s disease impacts eating and what can be done to manage these symptoms.

Confusion about Food
For people living with Alzheimer’s disease, mealtimes can become overwhelming. Because of cognitive decline, having a large variety of food choices can be confusing. Likewise, people may become unable to identify foods and therefore become hesitant to eat them. When your loved one is receiving Alzheimer’s care, you can make mealtime easier by serving only one or two foods at a time to reduce confusion. Be sure to keep table settings simple and to only have the utensils out that are needed for the meal you’re having. Serve meals in courses and clear the table of other food items between courses.

Loss of Appetite
Loss of appetite is common in people with Alzheimer’s for a few different reasons. The disease itself can cause appetite to decline. Likewise, medication can interfere with the desire to eat. If your loved one has decreased appetite, consider serving small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. Increasing physical activity, such as taking walks, may also help. If appetite is a persistent problem, talk to the doctor about possible medication changes.

Chewing and Swallowing Problems
In middle and late-stage Alzheimer’s, chewing and swallowing can become problematic and interfere with eating. Your loved one will need continuous care while eating to prevent choking. You can mitigate these risks by serving food in bite-sized portions and serving soft foods, like scrambled eggs and yogurt.

At Avalon Memory Care, the dietary needs of our residents with Alzheimer’s are a top concern. Our assisted living center provides nutritious meals and the necessary supervision to support the good health of our residents. If your loved one needs memory care, find out how we can help your family by calling (469) 802-3179.