Dementia Care Balanced Diet

Setting the scene for Dementia Friendly mealtimes

A familiar, sociable environment can help a person with dementia to feel more comfortable eating and drinking. At Atkinson’s Private Nursing Home’s we strive for Mealtimes to be an enjoyable experience.

  • turning off noisy TVs and radios, or playing some soothing, familiar music
  • being flexible about mealtimes, avoiding times when the person is tired or distressed
  • giving the person lots of time to eat, so there is no rushing
  • eating with the person if they enjoy the social side of this. It might be encouraging for them to see you eating, but bear in mind some people may be self-conscious and embarrassed eating with company
  • making sure the room is well-lit and describing the food. This might help the person recognise the food they are eating more easily
  • using plain coloured plates and cups so they can see the food easily. Specially adapted cutlery is available for people with dementia

Encouraging a person with dementia to eat

Involve the person by asking them what they would like to eat. If they struggle to decide, you could give them two options of simple things you know they like and can manage. If appropriate, you could involve them in the food preparation. You could try:

  • offering something easy to eat, that you know the person likes
  • giving the person small, regular portions rather than large meals
  • being flexible: a person with a sweet tooth might like to eat their dessert first. You could add sweet condiments like ketchup or apple sauce to savoury food
  • offering a small snack before a meal to see if that helps the person realise, they are hungry
  • using different tastes, smells, and colours to stimulate the appetite

Encouraging a person with dementia to drink

A person with dementia may not always be able to recognise when they are thirsty, or they might not be able to communicate their thirst. But nevertheless, it is recommended to aim for about eight glasses of fluid per day. You could try:

  • having a drink beside the person always
  • adding a little flavoured squash if the person is not keen on water
  • offering a choice of hot and cold drinks
  • helping the person if they are struggling to pick up or hold a cup
  • offering the person different shapes and sizes of cup
  • finding out if they have a favourite cup, they like to drink from

If you have any questions regarding your current situation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’d be delighted to find a way to help. We also published a blog on finding the right home.

Get in touch:

Tel: 01276 31838

Email: Vlad@atkinsonshomes.com