Eating with Alzheimers
Understanding Eating Patterns with Alzheimers Patients
There are many daily activities that will suffer the side effects of Alzheimers disease in certain patients, and for many individuals eating is one of these activities. Unfortunately, no matter what type of care they are getting, many Alzheimers patients will suffer weight loss as part of their condition as they no longer are able to maintain their normal eating habits. In order to prevent health-threatening weight loss, you will want to try to diagnose the reason they are not eating and look for a few common problems that can be at the root of eating issues.
Loss of Eating Abilities
There are many different causes of eating issues. Many times, as a side effect of dementia, and individual will lose certain abilities that can prevent them from eating as normal. There are many people with Alzheimers who will forget how to feed themselves or forgotten that eating will satisfy their hunger. There are others who may forget that they havent eaten yet; or may have forgotten who to ask for food.
Sometimes the issues behind eating have nothing to do with memory loss. These eating issues can be from physical challenges. There are many with dementia who will have lost their coordination and the ability to use utensils such as silverware. There are some people who have trouble chewing and swallowing as they age. This could be from a health issues or with problems with their dentures or gums.
Difficult Eating Environments
Since dementia can make individuals fearful, anxious and nervous, many times it is the environment in which these individuals are eating that can make them uncomfortable. When there is too much noise or other environmental stimulants, it can make a person hesitant to eat. They may also be fearful at meal times and think that the food is poisoned because they are uncomfortable in their surroundings. Many times, there are individuals in group care homes who will let other residents eat their food.
These are all some of the most common issues behind eating problems with people with Alzheimers disease and there are a number of different solutions that you can try in order to fix these issues. Consult a physician to see if there are health or physical issues behind the eating problem, or have someone sit and help them eat if you feel as though they have forgotten how. Changing the environment in which a person eats can also help as can putting them on a schedule so they no longer have to remember when its time for them to have a meal.