It is crucial that your loved one eats well while living in a memory care community. They, like everyone else, require proper nutrition to help their bodies work. However, eating and mealtimes can become more difficult due to some of the obstacles associated with various age-related diseases.
Not eating a well-balanced diet can increase undesirable behaviors and induce weight loss, among other things.
A memory care facility near Wellington, FL, may be able to reduce your loved one’s eating anxiety through a combination of individualized care plans, structured meal times, assistive devices, nutritious and appealing meals, socialization and companionship, and professional support. Read on as we explore more on this.
Individualized Care Plans
Memory care communities often have trained team members who can work with your loved one to create a personalized care plan that addresses their unique needs and preferences. This may include strategies to help reduce eating anxiety, such as providing a calm and supportive environment during meals or offering preferred foods and drinks.
In addition, a good memory care community should have trained personnel who can provide support and guidance to help your loved one with eating anxiety, including working with a therapist or nutritionist as needed.
Structured Meal Times
Memory care communities often have structured meal times that are consistent and predictable, which can help reduce anxiety and improve eating habits. Eating at the same time and place every day can help soothe those with eating anxiety.
Memory care communities may offer assistive devices, such as utensils with thicker handles or adapted cups and glasses, to help your loved one with eating and drinking. If they are able to feed themselves, they may feel more empowered and less anxious.
Nutritious and Appealing Meals
Memory care communities often have trained chefs who can prepare nutritious and appealing meals that are tailored to your loved one’s dietary needs and preferences. This can help improve appetite and reduce anxiety around eating.
Encouraging the Social Element of Dining
Memory care communities often provide opportunities for socialization and companionship during meals, which can be especially helpful for those who may feel anxious or lonely when eating alone.
Social connections are critical for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another kind of dementia. Mealtime in a memory care community can be a fantastic time for your loved one to engage with other residents and team members in a relaxed setting.
Supervision and Quick Response
Losing weight due to a diminished appetite or lack of interest in eating is typical in Alzheimer’s residents. It is critical to detect the warning symptoms early and take action to mitigate the consequences. Memory care communities have team members who will be on the lookout for such warning signs so that steps can be taken to address the issues.
Some ways a professional might help would be to cook special meals with a person’s favorite foods, serve smaller meals more frequently, or promote increased physical activity to build an appetite.