Dining Challenges with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

by | Nov 17, 2019 | Behavior, Caregiver Tips, Help with Eating

Dinner time can be a challenge for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. It can also be frustrating for the care partner who is concerned about nutrition levels and enjoyment. Below are some tips for making this activity more pleasurable for both of you.

  1. Use modified plates, cups and silverware. Physically, coordination levels are often comprised. There are hook-on plate edges, which can be used with any sized plate. These give a barrier to push up against and help to keep food from sliding off onto the table. Silverware that is larger than typical, along with larger handles to grip also help with coordination. Cups are available with double handles, making gripping easier and lifting to the mouth steadier.
  2. Precut food out of sight prior to presenting. This way the food is easier to handle and requires less chewing, but by doing it out of sight, you are not as likely to instigate feelings of “being babied”.
  3. For those that are able to safely, engage them by enlisting their help in the planning, preparation or plating of the meal.
  4. When deciding on a meal, offer only two suggestions from which they can choose. Options give a feeling of control and decision making, but too many can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Meal time can often be challenging, but these tips can help make it more enjoyable and less stressful for all of you. Remember that what may work one day, may not work the next, but could again. Keep these tips in your toolbox of things to try and happy eating!