Are you caring for an elderly adult that is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease? Maybe your loved one just received their diagnosis. No matter what stage of this disease your loved one is in, they might experience some struggles. The more that you and your loved one’s elder care providers learn about these struggles, the more you can help your loved one.
One of the most common struggles that many people with Alzheimer’s disease have is a reduced appetite. The main reason for this is because someone with this disease might not recognize when they are hungry. Another reason for this is because of medication side effects. If your loved one is experiencing this symptom, it is important to find ways to pick their appetite back up. It could be different from one person to the next. Two of the things that might help are to make mealtimes fun or get them their favorite foods.
Oral Health Problems
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease struggle with oral health problems. They might get gum disease. Their dentures might not fit any longer because they have lost weight. The problem is that your loved one might not be able to properly explain why they aren’t eating. However, if you can figure out the oral health problem they are experiencing and get it fixed, this might help them to eat better.
Reduced Attention Span
Those with Alzheimer’s disease have a reduced attention span. Due to this fact, your loved one might have a tough time sitting and focusing at mealtimes. They might become easily distracted. In addition, if your loved one is also experiencing anxiety or agitation, on top of the reduced attention span, this can make mealtimes even more difficult. It is vital that you or your loved one’s elder care providers make mealtimes as distraction-free as possible.
Eventually, your loved one is going to experience issues with their hand-eye coordination. This is going to make mealtimes even more difficult for them. They might not be able to move the fork from their plate to their mouth. This is when they might need assistance with eating. Without extra assistance, your loved one might not be getting the nutrition they need.
These are some of the common struggles with mealtimes for those who have Alzheimer’s disease. If your loved one is experiencing issues with mealtimes, be sure that you do what you can to help them out. You can help them eat, make mealtimes distraction-free, find the cause of their oral health issues, and more.