How Do You Cook for a Forgetful Parent?

You’ve spent all day with your mom. She has Alzheimer’s and forgets most everything you tell her. Her diet is limited to bananas, flavored yogurt, and toast with lots of butter. You want her to have a balanced diet, so you come cook for her as often as you can. She loves your dinner idea. You cook it, serve it to her, and she announces she hates that food and won’t eat it.

Senior Care in Kentwood MI: Cooking for a Forgetful Parent

Senior Care in Kentwood MI: Cooking for a Forgetful Parent

You’re not alone. This is one of the many issues family caregivers experience when dealing with Alzheimer’s. Here are tips you can use when planning meals for a forgetful parent.

Focus on Family-Style Meals.

Have you heard about restaurants that do family-style meals? These meals are meant for a group and include several dishes that are passed around the table. Think of Thanksgiving where meat, vegetables, stuffing, mashed potato, salads, and other dishes are all shared.

You may find your mom willingly eating when the variety is great. She may not be in the mood for some roast chicken, but she takes seconds on roasted Brussels sprouts. As long as she’s eating something you’ve served, you’ve succeeded in getting her to eat a home-cooked meal.

Don’t Think Childhood Favorites Will Still Be Favorites.

Aging impacts how foods taste. The elderly do not regenerate cells in the taste buds as quickly or at all, which impacts taste. Foods your mom used to love may not be as tasty to her now. Take time to study what she does and doesn’t enjoy eating.

When you do find meals that your mom loves, note it. This is a good meal to add to the regular menu. If there are certain foods she seems to love, such as mango or fish, come up with a variety of ways to serve those items. She’ll be eating the same foods, but the meals will differ, so she’ll still have plenty of variety.

Frustration seems to be the name of the game with Alzheimer’s. It’s normal to get frustrated. You may even find yourself dealing with grief over the loss of your parent’s abilities. Make sure you’re caring for yourself too.

Look into respite care offered through a senior care professional. A senior care agency will provide you with a caregiver who can help you provide your mom with companionship and assistance with activities of daily living.

If you or someone you know needs help with senior care in Kentwood, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.


About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.