My loved one has Dementia and they are losing weight, how do I help them?

I had a recent conversation with a family member regarding this question. Her father has dementia and has started losing weight. He doesn’t enjoy sitting down for a meal and has a tendency to be in constant motion. His taste for foods have changed and even his favorite meal is being left untouched. This is a common problem with Dementia and I always recommend speaking with your loved ones physician when you have any medically related concerns. However, I have experienced this with my own loved ones and clients we have cared for and here are a few tips;

  1. As we age our taste receptors diminish. Often it takes a more flavorful food to compel us to eat. There is a lot of research available online that supports the fact that the sweet taste receptors are the last to diminish therefore sweet foods are more likely to be eaten. Of course there could be concerns if your loved on is diabetic so again discuss this with your loved ones physician.
  2. Eat with your loved one. We are social eaters typically and sharing a meal with someone you love and that is familiar to you can help create a better environment for meals.
  3. If your loved one is active or walks around the home a lot, offer finger foods or meal replacement bars and protein shakes that they can hold to eat.
  4. Smells are often appetite triggers, consider adding scents to the home like air fresheners in the scent of vanilla or fresh baked cookies. Many scents are available in fabric sprays, I wouldn’t recommend candles or plug ins for safety reasons.

I hope these tips bring someone comfort and if you try them and have success please comment and let us know. We are always here to help you. Feel free to contact us at 478-994-9535 to talk more.

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