Following a heart-healthy diet is good for the body and the brain of a senior with Alzheimer’s. However, as the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult to eat. To relieve the symptoms associated with the disease, make sure your senior loved one follows a healthy diet. Here are some things you can do to encourage your loved one to eat healthier.
Provide Tastier Options
Don’t rely on salt and sugar to make your loved one’s food taste good. These seasonings can cause the disease to worsen and lead to other health issues. A good way to make your loved one’s meals and snacks tastier is to use herbs and low-sodium spices. Enhancing the taste of the food could motivate your loved one to avoid skipping out on nutritious meals.
If you are caring for a senior loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver who can help your loved one prepare nutritious meals. In Dayton, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Simplify the Eating Process
Many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty swallowing, which is why you need to choose healthy items that are easy to swallow. When you want your loved one to eat more fruits and vegetables, try juicing the foods. A thin, smooth juice is easier to consume than whole veggies and fruits. Another option is to create a soft diet by offering pureed foods. You can also break meals up into smaller servings. For example, instead of serving three large meals per day, break the meals into six smaller portions.
Consider Food Preferences
Keep your loved one’s personal preferences in mind when creating his or her diet. Your loved one may be less resistant to healthy eating if he or she is involved in the meal prep process. The foods your loved one enjoyed in the past may not be appealing as the disease progresses, so make sure he or she is open to the healthy options. If your loved one prefers one food more than others, find a variety of ways to prepare that food during the week. Having an input will make your loved one feel like he or she is in control, which could encourage him or her to follow a healthier diet.
Finding time to prepare healthy meals for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Dayton, OH, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Enhance the Dining Experience
Remove distractions when your loved one is eating, and make sure to stick to a regular dining routine. When you change the foods your loved one is eating, do this gradually instead of forcing the healthier options on him or her. Another way you can enhance the dining experience is by keeping the table setting simple. Remove all table arrangements out of your loved one’s sight, as well as eating utensils he or she won’t be using. Refrain from serving more than two foods at a time. Too many foods can be overwhelming for seniors with Alzheimer’s. For example, broccoli or kale should be followed by a healthy serving of salmon or mackerel.
Helping an aging loved one manage and prepare a heart-healthy diet takes a great deal of effort. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Dayton senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To schedule an in-home consultation, call us at 937-353-1412 today.