In addition to Independent Living and Assisted Living, Sagora Senior Living is proud to offer Memory Care living options for our residents. As we understand that Memory Care can be a sensitive subject and perhaps confusing and overwhelming for family members, we have launched a blog series devoted entirely to Memory Care. Our hope is that we provide educational resources, answers to frequently asked questions and support as you navigate your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.
This week, we’ll be focusing on what to consider during mealtimes when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. At our Memory Care communities, every aspect of mealtime is carefully thought out for our residents’ nourishment, comfort and enjoyment. Below are a few tips that you can use during mealtime at home along with the top four things to consider. If you have any questions about nutrition for those with Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s in general, we encourage you to contact one of our Memory Care experts today. For more information on our communities, contact information and how to schedule a virtual tour, click here.
- Schedule. Regular, nutritious meals may become a challenge for people with dementia. It’s important to establish as much consistency as possible when planning a schedule for your loved one including daily tasks, meals and snacks. Remember to give your loved one plenty of time to eat. Remind him or her to chew and swallow carefully. Keep in mind that it may take an hour or longer to finish eating.
- Nutrition. Proper nutrition is important to keep the body strong and healthy. For a person with any form of dementia, poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss.
a. Offer vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods.
b. Limit foods with high saturated fat and cholesterol.
c. Cut down on refined sugars.
d. Limit foods with high sodium and use less salt.
- Hydration. Staying hydrated may be a problem as well. Encourage drinking by offering plenty of water and other beverages throughout the day or foods with high water content, such as fruit or soup.
- Your loved one’s preferences. Take into consideration the food selections they prefer and pay attention to their feedback on taste. Keep long-standing personal preferences in mind when preparing food and be aware that a person with dementia may suddenly develop new food preferences or reject foods that were liked in the past.