How to Encourage Seniors with Dementia to Eat More

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How to Encourage Seniors with Dementia to Eat More
Seniors with dementia may feel loss of appetite and refuse to eat. Caregivers must proceed with empathy and compassion to encourage seniors with dementia to eat more. We outline a few tips caregivers can use to make meal times easier for their elderly clients with dementia.

Elderly adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease frequently consume less food than they once did. Various medical disorders might make it difficult to properly chew, swallow, or digest food.

Sometimes elderly people just stop being interested in eating. There are several reasons why this could happen, including a loss of taste, an inability to smell, and memory loss. Several medications have the ability to affect appetite.

As the condition progresses, the capacity and desire to consume more typically decrease. As a result, it can be a real emotional and practical hardship for the family to make sure a dementia patient eats a nutritious meal or gets enough to eat. We have compiled a list of tips that might be used by a caregiver to motivate a dementia patient to eat more meals.

Tips to make seniors eat more

These senior nutrition ideas can be incorporated into the dementia care strategy that a caregiver develops with the family. Food preferences will be taken into consideration as well as these suggestions. If the dementia patient refuses to eat, these can be modified.

  • Make food appetizing to the eye and the nose. Make use of a range of flavours, colours, and fragrances. One’s appetite could be aroused by the aroma of cooking, such as that of newly baked bread.
  • Avoid overeating; modest, frequent meals are often the best. Consider serving half portions of hot food to avoid having it cool and lose its appeal.
  • Give them something tasty because it can encourage them to eat more. However, keep in mind that a person’s dietary preferences may change as their dementia advances.
  • Don’t prevent someone from eating dessert if they haven’t finished their savoury dinner. They might enjoy the flavour of the dessert.
  • Try a range of dishes and drinks with various temperatures and textures, such as milkshakes or potato wedges.
  • Explain the dish to them and gently remind them to consume more.
  • Never assume that someone is finished just because they have stopped eating.
  • Never put pressure on someone who is tense or worried. Once they have settled down and stopped feeling anxious, offer them food and beverages.
  • Make use of eating and drinking as an opportunity for social engagement and exercise. It might present a chance to talk about meals from their youth, which might improve their appetite. Additionally, they might help in food preparation.
  • If someone doesn’t want to eat meals at regular intervals or at a table, have finger foods like sausage rolls, falafel, samosas, spring rolls, sandwiches, slices of fruit, and vegetables available. Some whole meals, like roast dinner, may be served as finger foods as long as they are given in manageable portions.
  • Look for opportunities to get the person to eat more food. If they are awake for a substantial chunk of the night, for example, evening snacks may be a smart idea. If they say no, try again a little while later.  If they continue to refuse food and you are concerned about how this is harming their health, speak to a pharmacist or a GP.

The treatment of dementia patients will continue to develop and change as the disease progresses. As a result, dementia home care for elder will continue to evolve. The senior’s behaviour and mood will always determine how well the dementia care guidelines are adhered to. Regularity in the routine and the use of some of the aforementioned suggestions to encourage senior citizens to eat more food.

Want to learn more?

ConsidraCare’s live-in caregivers for seniors are trained to offer professional support to seniors, such as those living with dementia. Please reach out to us at or call us at 1-855-410-7971 to arrange care for a loved one.

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