Patient Comments: Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide - Eating

Question:

Getting an Alzheimer's patient to eat can be difficult. Please share tips for meal ideas and routines. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sissy, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 02

My mom has Alzheimer's and wants to eat continuously, she is never satisfied. I try to feed her every hour. She only weighs 110 pounds. What in this world!

Comment from: MizzColgate, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 26

I am a primary caregiver with my boyfriend of 6 years, whose mother is in the 6th of 7 stages of Alzheimer's and was just diagnosed two months ago. It is extremely difficult to get his mom to eat 3 meals a day, much less two. The smell of cooking bothers her and her appetite is minimal. We were told by our support worker to try and leave the plate on the table covered or counter top and let her know it is there for her to eat when she is ready. This has been a great help and saved us from her verbal confrontations about eating some days.

Comment from: T.Colson CNA, (Caregiver) Published: October 21

Consistent meal times are an absolute must. Alzheimer's patients rely on a schedule. Change in routine, in my opinion causes agitation, or confusion, which could lead to resistance in care. Find out what kinds of foods the patient likes. If you notice that the patient is eating less than normal, they may not like what was offered to them, so it is good to have an alternative on stand-by. I have found some Alzheimer's patients don't like 'slimy' foods such as Macaroni, or certain pastas (they can't stand the texture). It is important to make sure that you eat with them, making constant references to the meal, such as, “you should try that corn, it is so good,” or that chicken is good, isn't it?' Make sure you are eating what you are referencing. 'Monkey-see-monkey-do'! Lastly give praise for how much they ate. Everyone enjoys praise, and they are no different.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Senior Health Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.