If you are caring for someone with dementia, one of the biggest daily tasks can be mealtime. Nutritious meals are incredibly important to maintaining a healthy body, and this becomes especially important for the elderly. As this is an important task that a caregiver must perform three times a day, we strive to make it easier for everyone. Here are some tips to improving your meal times:
- Routine – One of the most important lessons for a caregiver looking after someone with dementia is to stick to a routine. This means meal times are always the same time, sitting in the same place. Sticking to foods that are familiar can help.
- Words – Be simple when speaking to someone with dementia. Instead of asking a lot of questions about what to eat and what to have with it, keep it simple: “Sit here, this sandwich is for you” is much easier.
- Nutrition – A caregiver has to care for their own health too – don’t start eating simple and unhealthy foods just because it’s easier. Look after yourself and the person you are caring for.
- Guests – Meal times can be a tricky time for visiting. Try to keep meals as simple and routine as possible by eating at home and with minimal distractions.
- Proactive – Plan your meals ahead of time to make your days easier. For example, cook a large amount of something that can be frozen, so it’s ready every day and you only have to cook once a week.
- Patience – Caregivers looking after an individual with dementia know that patience is key. If your loved one is confused, be patient and explain to them in simple words that it is time to eat.