Tips for food and eating

  • Rule out other causes of eating and drinking problems. Make sure that appetite loss is not caused by an acute illness, depression or denture pain 
  • Offer snacks and meals regularly, perhaps trying 5-6 small meals a day 
  • Try and present food in bite sized pieces to avoid any risk of choking; encourage finger foods if the person you care for is having difficulty with cutlery 
  • Try an alarm call or phone call as a reminder at mealtimes 
  • Serve foods that are familiar to the person you support 
  • If the person that you care for has forgotten the types of food they like to eat, show them pictures to help with making choices 
  • Demonstrate chewing if this seems to be the problem, and eat with the person so that they can copy you 
  • Consider nutrition supplements, particularly in later stage dementia when people tend to lose a lot of weight 
  • Always make sure that the person you care for has enough fluids throughout the day; try putting bottled water in different rooms around the house 
  • Avoid denying choice altogether, make choice less complicated instead. For example, allow the person you care for to choose between two meals. Too many options to choose from may be confusing.

Published: 2nd September 2016