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How to Encourage Appetite in the Elderly

Helping Seniors Enjoy Meals

Seniors, in general, must consume increased calories, vitamins, and minerals for a good functioning of their system. If you take care of someone with dementia, you need to pay particular attention to a good and balanced nutrition. People with dementia struggle with a weakened appetite either because of the ongoing pain or because they simply refuse the foods, they do not find delicious. Find out below a few important tips on how you can encourage appetite in the elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Instead of respecting a regular meal schedule, it might be better to offer the patient several delicious snacks and smaller portions of food throughout the day. Ensure the meals contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also nuts and seeds high in Omega 3 fatty acids and essential minerals.

Stimulate the appetite of the patient by serving food that looks extremely attracting. Decorate food, but also ensure to use different spices and aromas that are attractive. Making a patient with dementia consume enough food might be difficult, this is why you need to do everything possible to encourage appetite.

Diversified food is important. When you are planning the meals, make sure they are diversified. Offer the patient fresh fruit juices, or smoothies containing milk, fruits, and seeds. Offer such snacks in between meals, or whenever you notice the patient is active and willing to cooperate regarding food consumption.

Patients with dementia might struggle with very bad oral health, and this does not allow them to chew and swallow food easily. If so, consider preparing plenty of soft foods such as milkshakes, juices, and generally plenty of foods prepared with the help of the blender (purees).

Dementia is a condition that causes great damages to the brain. This means that patients may not recognize the food they are offered, or may not understand the importance of proper nutrition. As a caregiver, you need to arm yourself with enough patience, creativity but also consequence to help the patient consume enough quality foods every single day.

Diversity is perhaps the most important, and you may also tackle the curiosity of the patient to taste different types of foods. If you have knowledge of certain foods that the patient likes, you should prepare those foods most often. Or, become creative and combine favorite foods by adding plenty of nutritious and essential foods as side dishes.
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