Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nutritional Tips - The Alzheimer's Disease Patient

Keeping an Alzheimer's Disease patient properly nourished is a challenge as the disease advances, they begin to have problems with chewing, swallowing and sometimes choking.
They may lose weight because their sense of smell and taste diminishes and therefore has no appetite to eat.
On the other hand they may gain weight because of their memory even though they might have just ate they may ask for food again.

Serve five or six small meals instead of three major ones. They are easily distracted and tend not to finish their meals.
Do not use any linens on the table that would be a distraction
Focus on simple meals and finger foods that are nutritious yet easy to handle. Avoid junk food which are loaded with either salt or sugar.
Give your patient as much time as possible to eat and don't rush

After a while your patient will get difficulty in swallowing so you would have to cut their food in small pieces or mash or puree it or even served in liquid form.
Sometimes they forget to chew and you can get them to chew by moving their chin. Also when they are not swallowing you can lightly stroke their throat.You can alternate bites of food with a sip of water or whatever they are drinking.
As their condition worsens you will find it difficult to get them to eat and often times refuses to open their mouths.When this happens you will have to resort to feeding them with a cup with sipper or straws.
Give them lots of water to drink to flush out their kidneys and bladder

1 comment:

David Tal said...

This article discusses several ways to entertain people with Alzheimer's disease in the early and middle stages of the disease.

Alzheimer specialist