At Churchill Home Care we understand the importance of nutrition when it comes to dementia care. Below we have outlined some advice. However, we also offer expert dementia care from just £18 per hour for Hourly Care or £725 per week for Live-In Care.
When undertaking dementia care, one of the key elements to take into consideration is nutrition. As dementia progresses, many people undergo changes in their behaviour, emotions and even physically, which can make eating and drinking more difficult. Which could, in turn, result in weight loss and dehydration.
What can cause a person with dementia to lose their appetite or to stop eating?
Quite often people with dementia suffer from a poor appetite which could be due to depression and mood changes. It is also not uncommon for people to have a change in food preferences as dementia progresses, so they may no longer want to eat their favourite meal.
Another consideration of dementia care and nutrition is that some people with dementia become more active, and like to walk around a lot, therefore they will require larger meals to make up the increased use of energy.
Dementia can also affect coordination, so drinking from a glass or eating with cutlery may be challenging and frustrating for the person, who will then tend to give up the struggle. Ill-fitting dentures or toothache could also create problems with eating as it will be uncomfortable, and some people with dementia may struggle to explain this so simply give up eating.
How can you help ensure they are getting the best nutrition possible?
There are several dementia care methods which can help with nutrition, such as when they have had a change in food preference. Often they start to enjoy unusual food combinations such as savoury and sweet flavours mixed. So you could switch up their meals by roasting vegetables with honey, adding sugar to foods such as omelettes or quiches and serving sweet sauces with the main meal, like apple sauce or sweet tomato chutney.
If they are suffering from a poor appetite you could offer smaller, but more regular meals throughout the day or don’t overload their plate with food. You may also need to become more flexible with mealtimes as their appetite could change throughout the day, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. You could also try mixing meals to include foods that they are familiar with but are also new and adventurous to encourage them to try it. A colourful bowl of fruit and veg can also be eye-catching and help to stimulate an appetite.
For people who have coordination problems, you can make foods that can easily be eaten with their fingers, rather than having to struggle with cutlery. Finger foods can also be useful for those who are restless and like to walk around whilst eating. You could try foods such as chips and wedges, sliced chicken breast pieces, fish fingers, sausage rolls, sausages, bite-size sandwich triangles, boiled eggs, sliced fruit or small pieces of cake or biscuits.
Often people with dementia become dehydrated as they can forget to drink. So aside from ensuring that they have a drink whilst you are caring for them, one of the most effective ways to combat this is to also provide them with foods that can help hydrate, such as fruits, particularly watermelon.
Churchill Home Care specialises in Dementia Care and can help provide valuable assistance from just £18 per hour for Hourly Care or from £725 per hour for Live-In Care.
For more information about the Hourly Care Services that we provide, please click ‘here’.
For more information about the Live-In Care Services that we provide, please click ‘here’ for a direct link to our price plans and home care packages.