There may be some foods that your elderly family member who has late-stage Alzheimer’s disease just won’t eat any longer. Some of them may have even been her favorite foods at one time. You might be finding mealtimes difficult because you just can’t land on the right combination of foods.
Finger Foods Are Often a Lot Easier to Eat
At one point your elderly family member might have enjoyed gourmet meals with the most elegant of flatware. But now, it might be time to be more practical. Handling silverware might be more difficult for her now and it can also be confusing. Finger foods are a lot easier to eat, though, because your senior just picks them up and pops them in her mouth. Make sure to cut foods into bite-sized pieces to make them even easier to eat.
Meal Replacement Shakes or Homemade Shakes Can Help
Meal replacement shakes or even your own homemade version can help a lot. This is also is a great way to get vegetables and fruits into her diet that she refuses to eat otherwise. You might consider a nutrient-dense homemade protein shake for breakfast. They’re often higher in calories, which is great fuel for the beginning of the day.
Get Dietary Recommendations from Her Doctor
Your elderly family member’s doctor is an excellent source of information about the types of foods that she should be eating. This is especially true if your elderly family member has other health issues, too, like high blood pressure. This allows you to meet her needs fully instead of just for one health condition. Fruits and vegetables might be difficult to convince her to eat, though, so you might need to find other ways to offer them.
Consider Vitamins and Supplements
Something else to discuss with your senior’s doctor might be the possibility of supplementing your senior’s diet with vitamins. This is especially helpful if she’s having difficulty eating or if she’s refusing to eat some foods. If your elderly family member has difficulty swallowing pills, one option could be finding liquid vitamins for her to take. These are even easy to add into a smoothie or shake so that she doesn’t have to take them separately.
Meals can be a difficult experience for you and for your senior with Alzheimer’s. End-of-life care providers can help to bridge the gap between your expectations and what your elderly family member truly needs. They can also help you to find that balance between what you hope your senior will eat and what she’ll actually still eat.