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Your Guide to Health and Nutrition for Your Family Member with Dementia

A condition like dementia can be difficult to accept at first, especially if the family members don’t know much about the condition. We all know that it’s a disease which affects an individual’s brain, but not many of us are aware of the true extent of the disease and what it can really do to a person’s attitude, behaviour, and state of mind. But even whilst dementia progresses over time, you can still try to give your loved one a good quality of life and provide them with the best care and attention you could possibly give. This is especially true when it comes to their health and nutrition and the food they eat. Here’s your guide to health, nutrition, and food for your family member with dementia.

What you should know about maintaining your loved one’s health and nutrition

First of all, you should know how important it is to maintain your loved one’s health and nutrition, especially when they have dementia. If they are healthy and fit, they can have a better quality of life, and this goes a long way toward helping them feel better about themselves. Also, if they don’t eat right or get enough exercise, they may be more prone to developing an illness, and individuals with dementia who become ill can become even more bewildered and confused. 

Common issues with food and nutrition

There are some common problems when it comes to food for those with dementia. Some of these problems include not being able to recognise foods and not remembering what kind of food they prefer. Problems also include refusing to eat certain foods or even spitting out certain foods. Some people with dementia may even refuse to eat or be fed, or they may ask for strange foods or combinations of food.

What you can do

What you can do in order to alleviate problems related to food with someone with dementia is to involve them in the process. For instance, if they are not able to feed themselves, what you could do is place the spoon or fork in their hand. You can then help guide the food into their mouth. If the dementia is still in its early stages, you can even get them involved in the food preparation process if they want.

It also pays to set aside a good amount of time for the eating of meals, as confirmed by the experts in live-in care from It won’t do to be in a hurry, as mealtimes can be quite stressful for your loved one. Try your best to stay as calm as possible, because if you are stressed, they will feel stressed as well. It also pays to be flexible. There may be changes in behaviour and eating habits and patterns, and you can prepare for this by keeping these behaviour changes in mind.

If your family member cannot or will not eat, they may be having problems with their teeth or other dental issues, and it may be a good idea to have them checked by a dentist as well.

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