Tips for Motivating Seniors with Alzheimer’s to Eat

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Though Alzheimer’s care typically focuses on mental issues, this neurodegenerative condition can also lead to additional health concerns. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to feel weak because they cannot eat properly. Staying well-fed and getting proper nutrition keeps the brain healthy and assists in the fight against Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one no longer eats regularly due to Alzheimer’s, try these tips.

Eat Together

Seniors with Alzheimer’s often need an example to follow. People generally enjoy eating with others, and they often feel hungrier when someone around them is eating. Try sitting with your loved one while he or she is eating. Avoid distracting your loved one, and encourage him or her to try the food. 

Some aging adults need motivation from caregivers to adopt wholesome eating habits and healthy lifestyles. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Auburn at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Serve Visually Appealing Meals

Red and yellow plates can stimulate hunger, while blue or black plates might reduce appetite. The human brain tends to associate the color red with feelings of hunger, which is why so many fast-food restaurants use red in their décor and packaging. This little psychological trick can help your loved one eat up to 25 percent more at a meal. 

In addition to paying attention to plate color, try to serve meals that look enticing and are neatly arranged on the table. Seniors with Alzheimer’s are very visual, so they’re more likely to eat something that looks nice. 

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can make eating and other daily activities challenging for seniors. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Provide Smaller Portions

This might seem counterintuitive, but serving less food can motivate a senior to eat more. Instead of trying to convince your loved one to eat big meals, consider offering small amounts of food throughout the day. This method takes a bit of patience, and you’ll need to keep better track of what your loved one is eating to make sure he or she is getting enough. If you’re willing to spend a little extra time, it can be quite effective in the long run. 

Make Familiar & Favorite Foods

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s avoid unrecognizable objects, so it might not be a good idea to introduce your loved one to kale smoothies and quinoa salads. Try to include at least one of your loved one’s favorite food items at each meal. Even if it’s not the healthiest option, he or she will at least get enough calories. You can alter recipes slightly to include more nutritious items. For example, pureed vegetables can be put in spaghetti sauce, or fruit can be added to pancakes. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Auburn Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Whether your parent needs hourly or live-in care, give us a call at (334) 744-7100 today. 


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