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4 Ways Alzheimer’s Changes The Way Your Senior Parent Eats

Alzheimer's care can significantly aid in managing and understanding the changes experienced by your senior parent with Alzheimer's, including their eating.
A caregiver trained in Alzheimer’s care can help your senior parent deal with changes to their eating.

If your senior parent has Alzheimer’s you will notice that as the disease progresses a lot of things change, including the way that they eat. It can be very challenging to get a senior parent with Alzheimer’s to eat enough food to be healthy.

When your senior parent is refusing to eat or doesn’t seem interested in food they’re not trying to be difficult or stubborn. Usually, they don’t want to eat because of the way that Alzheimer’s impacts their brain and how they perceive food.

Getting Alzheimer’s care at home for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a huge help when it comes to understanding the changes that Alzheimer’s causes for your senior parent. A caregiver who is trained in Alzheimer’s care can help your senior parent and help you learn how to effectively deal with the changes that your senior parent is experiencing.

Some of the ways that Alzheimer’s can affect seniors and how they eat are:


Loss of Appetite

One of the things that Alzheimer’s can do is change the way that your senior parent’s brain regulates appetite. So even though your senior parent may not have eaten much in a day, they may not be hungry because their brain isn’t sending them a hunger cue. They don’t know that their body is hungry and needs food.

One of the benefits of Alzheimer’s care at home for seniors is that a caregiver can keep your senior parent on a meal schedule to make sure that they are getting enough to eat. Even if they don’t know they are hungry, eating meals at set times can encourage seniors to eat.


Difficulty Recognizing Food or Understanding How to Eat

Another way that Alzheimer’s can impact how much your senior parent eats is that it can make it difficult for them to recognize food. They may also not know what to do with the food on their plates or remember how to use utensils. They could be agitated, frightened, or embarrassed that they don’t know what they are expected to do.

Sharing meals with your senior parent is a great way to remind them how to eat. When you or a caregiver shares meals with them they can mimic your movements and eat.


Preference for Certain Foods or Textures

As Alzheimer’s progresses your senior parent may develop a preference for foods of a certain texture. Or they could develop an aversion to certain textures. It can be difficult to figure out what foods your senior parent will or won’t eat. But once you find some foods that they will eat easily, keep giving them those foods. Getting them to eat is more important than forcing them to eat a varied diet, and Alzheimer’s care workers can help. If you’re worried they’re not getting enough nutrients or protein consider giving them nutrition drinks or protein shakes to fill in the nutritional gaps.


Changes in Food Preferences or Dislikes

Your senior parent may also decide that they no longer like foods they have always liked. The disease can alter the way that their brain processes signals, so foods may smell or taste different to them. If your senior parent suddenly refuses a food they’ve always liked, look for a similar but different-textured food, and they may like that food.



Providing exceptional Alzheimer’s Care for seniors and families in the Northern Virginia area, including Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Reston, Burke, Ashburn, Centreville, Springfield, Manassas, and Oakton. Call today to speak with our caring staff: (703) 272-8838.

Incredicare Home Care Staff
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