Three Diet Tips for People with Dementia
If you have an elderly parent suffering from dementia, there are many lifestyle changes you are going to have to make. This will ensure that your parent's confusion throughout the day is not as high and that they are continuing to eat and live as comfortably as possible. Eating is one of many challenges your parent may face, since people with dementia become distracted easily or even forget how they are supposed to eat. Here are three diet tips you should know.
When your parent is surrounded by others who are also eating, it is easier for them to remember what they are doing. When they are eating by themselves, they can become confused. On top of this, you can monitor how much your parent is eating to ensure that they are eating a balanced diet. While you are eating together, all electronics should be turned off and put away to limit distractions. This will also help your parent feel less rushed to eat their meal, which is important since it will take a bit longer than it used to, especially if they start feeling disoriented during the process.
Serve Smaller Meals
Instead of getting your parent to eat large meals throughout the day, it's easier to have them eat small finger foods throughout the day. This way, it's not as challenging for them to get through a meal, and it ensures that they are eating enough to have a well-balanced diet. It can be difficult to eat at the same time as them for each of these meals, so it's best to at least be sitting at the table with them with a glass of water or other beverage.
Look for Signs of Other Problems
If your parent is not eating at all during meals, it may be because they are distracted by other complications. It's important to take note of their behavior during meals, especially if they refuse to eat. Depression is a common problem for people suffering from dementia, so a lack of eating can definitely be a sign of depression. Bring these things up with their doctor so improvements can be made either through medications or other medical means.
For more information, talk to your parent's doctor or a healthcare organization such as All Care Hawaii for more ideas and guidance for how to help your parent keep a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.