How to Plan Meals for a Parent Who Has Alzheimer’s

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on October 7, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease can impact the area of the brain that processes tastes and smells, and your senior loved one’s eating habits could drastically change as the disease progresses. Your loved one might also forget to eat or completely lose his or her appetite, which could have a major impact on his or her physical health, energy levels, and demeanor. With a solid meal plan, you can make sure your loved one gets all the proper nutrients and plenty of calories in the coming years. 

Skip the Complicated Meals

Even if your loved one used to enjoy intricate and exotic meals, there may come a point where you need to focus on simple foods that are easy to eat. Having a senior with Alzheimer’s sit down to a larger meal can be quite challenging, and all the different tastes and textures might overwhelm your loved one. Many people who have this disease benefit from having multiple small meals and snacks throughout the day. These various foods should be very easy to eat and packed with as many nutrients as possible. 

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of a highly trained professional caregiver. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Tucson, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Fill the Refrigerator with Nutrient-Dense Snacks

You should always have at least a few snacks in the refrigerator for whenever your loved one gets hungry. Bags of sliced vegetables are one of the best options for older adults who have this disease because they provide key vitamins and minerals. As for protein, you might want to give your loved one a hard-boiled egg or a handful of almonds. If your loved one doesn’t get enough protein, his or her energy levels are likely to dip, which could result in some serious behavioral issues. 

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Experiment with Different Textures and Colors

Your loved one might develop an aversion to certain colors, shapes, or textures. To combat those issues, try out a variety of different foods. You should also make sure the dishes are as simple and straightforward as possible. One-pot meals are great for seniors with Alzheimer’s because all the primary food groups are contained in a single dish. Your loved one might enjoy hearty soups, nutritious stews, or simple casseroles.

Have a Backup Plan

No matter what steps you take to plan and prep meals, you’re likely to experience at least a few hiccups in the coming years. There may be days when your loved one is completely uninterested in the food you serve, and you need to have a backup plan for those situations. You might want to keep at least a few energy bars or protein shakes somewhere in the house. If your loved one completely refuses to eat anything healthy, you’ll need to compromise until he or she is in a better mood. As long as your loved one’s diet contains mostly nutritious foods, the occasional unhealthy treat shouldn’t be a major problem.

Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Tucson Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn about the high quality of our in-home Alzheimer’s care services.