Food is always a vital part of your elderly family member’s care plan, but meals and eating can be a little trickier if she has dementia. That complication grows as she moves into the middle and later stages of dementia.
She Needs Plenty of Fluids
Proper hydration is always a concern for older adults, but it’s especially important for people with dementia. Your elderly family member may forget to drink water and other fluids on a regular basis. Do what you can to make sure that your senior has plenty of water available and encourage her to sip regularly.
In Later Stages, She’ll Eat Less
As dementia progresses for your senior, she’s going to be less active and likely less hungry as well. This decrease in appetite is normal to an extent. You may find that she’s pickier about the foods she wants to eat or that she eats less in general of everything. It’s important to understand just how much food she needs in order to stay as healthy as possible and her doctor can help you with this.
What She Eats May Change
The types of food your senior eats will definitely change. She may become more finicky about eating favorite foods, but the big factor to consider is that your elderly family member may need different textures and types of foods. Finger foods may become more important. If your elderly family member stops being able to chew and swallow well, she may need soft foods. These are important issues to consider when determining what your senior will be eating.
She May Be Able to Feed Herself Far Longer than You Think
Something else to remember is that your elderly family member may be able to continue feeding herself for a long time, even in later stages of dementia. What matters most is that you’re accommodating her needs along the way. For instance, if she’s eating primarily finger foods that are cut into bite-sized pieces, she may be very able to feed herself. Also, choosing utensils that are easy for her to grasp can help.
Her Doctor Can Help You Figure All of This Out
It’s a really good idea to get the help of your senior’s doctor in figuring all of this out. There are nutritional considerations and other factors that you need to keep in mind as you’re trying to keep your senior fed and healthy. Having an idea what her needs are from a medical perspective can help immensely.
Something else that can help quite a bit is to have help from home care providers. They have experience in balancing nutritional needs with other needs and can help you to keep everything running smoothly for your senior.
If you or someone you know needs help with Home 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.
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