Tastes change as you age. The taste buds and sense of smell change slightly and affect your palate. When dementia is present, tastes can really change. One day your dad may love a specific food, but the next day he tells you he’s never enjoyed that item. It makes meals frustrating.
The other issue with dementia is that people don’t always remember when they last ate. They may not eat for hours. Others will eat a full meal and say they’re hungry minutes later. How do you plan menus around these challenges?
Serve Light Meals Multiple Times Per Day
Make light meals available regularly throughout the day. The sense of hunger and feeling full may diminish. When you serve lighter meals, blood sugar levels remain stable, and you’re less likely to fill your dad up so much that he gets indigestion or feels bloated and uncomfortable.
Light meals are easy to prepare in advance. Finger sandwiches, mini quiches, vegetables and a dipping sauce, spring rolls, dumplings, and a variety of salads provide plenty of options. If you make the colors of the foods stand out, he’s more likely to pick them up.
Try to Stick to Finger Foods
There may come a point in your dad’s disease where he struggles to use cutlery correctly. Finger foods are ideal for this reason. If he doesn’t have to try to pick up and hold a fork or spoon and can use his fingers instead, he’s more likely to find it easy to eat.
Fish sticks, chicken fingers, puff pastry cups filled with meats and vegetables, vegetarian or California roll sushi, and Cornish pasties are all finger foods that work well.
Try Different Foods
As your dad’s tastes are changing, it’s a good time to try new things. He may not love it, but you might find he loves foods he never enjoyed before. Some people develop a craving for sugar when dementia is present. This can make fruits like bananas, dragonfruit, and melon appealing. Sweeter vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash may become favorites.
If it’s getting hard to prepare meals and snacks he’ll eat and also prepare meals for your immediate family, consider asking for help.
Home care services help with more than housekeeping. Caregivers can cook meals for your dad and take him shopping. You’ll have time to focus on meals for you, your children, and your spouse/partner while home care aides take over your dad’s meal preparation. Call now.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Home Health Care in Coronado, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663