Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, World Alzheimer's Day
Eating Challenges


World Alzheimer's Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and the need for more education, support and research. Millions of families across the United States and the world are affected by this disease.

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures 2012

How to Cope with Eating Problems
in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


There is no special diet required for people with Alzheimer's disease, unless they have another medical condition that needs consideration. Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is extremely important.
A person with Alzheimer's disease and their caregiver face numerous eating challenges.

1. Poor nutrition due to Alzheimer's may be related to depression, forgetting to eat, diminished sense of hunger and thirst, difficulty feeding, eating, chewing and/or swallowing or the inability to obtain or prepare foods.

2. Check for food and drug interactions; look for any medications that may decrease appetite or affect nutritional status.

3. Constipation maybe a problem. Drink enough fluids, stay active and include fiber rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

4. Dry mouth might be a side effect of some medications or a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Provide and encourage the drinking of water and other fluids. To soften foods, dip them in fluids or add broth, gravies or sauces. When eating, take a sip of a beverage between bites, this will aid in swallowing and moisten the mouth. To increase the production of saliva and moisten the mouth, use a frozen ice pop or sour candy.

5. Problems with dentures and/or oral health.

6. As Alzheimer’s progresses, an individual may not recognize foods and easily becomes distracted.

7. Weight loss or weight gain may occur.

Recommendations
1. Allow plenty of time to eat and remove any distractions.

2. A person should be calm before providing food and drink.

3. Make sure a person is positioned properly to allow for safe swallowing.

4. Communicate about the food and temperature of the foods.

5. If a person has difficulty-using utensils, try finger foods. Finger foods are prepared so a person can eat with one’s hands. The use of finger foods allows for independence.

6. If finger foods are a problem, feeding may be necessary.

7. Make meals colorful and appealing.

8. Offer small mini meals throughout the day. Use smaller plates and cups. Too much food on a plate may be overwhelming.

9. Add herbs, spices, chutney, and/or sauces to add flavor.

10. Make sure food and fluids are consumed.


From His Window (song about Alzheimer's disease)


Resource
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s, and since our founding in 1980, we have moved toward this goal by advancing research and providing support, information and education to those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Mission: To eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. 

Vision: A world without Alzheimer’s.
 
Post a Comment

Dietitian Blog List