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Healthy Eating Tips for Clients With Alzheimer’s Disease

Nutritional wellbeing is crucial for everyone regardless of age or health condition. Although there is no present cure for Alzheimer’s disease, clients can benefit from nutritious foods and from healthy eating habits. Depending on the stage of disease and health, caregivers can assist clients with meals and encourage independence through self-feedings. Self-feedings should not be promoted in clients at risk for aspiration or who have difficulty swallowing. Caregivers can consult with physicians and dietitians regarding meal plans and diets for client’s nutritional needs.

Tips to Promote Nutrition & Healthy Eating:

1. Serve finger foods that are easy for self-feeding like carrots, chicken nuggets, whole-grain crackers, and toast.

2. Give the individual sufficient time to chew and swallow food properly. Keep in mind feeding can take up to an hour, and its best not to rush meals.

3. Don’t overwhelm client with too many food choices, but rather serve one or two foods at a time.

4. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends testing food temperature before serving meals stating, “A person with dementia might not be able to tell if something is too hot to eat or drink. Always test the temperature of foods and beverages before serving.”

5. It can be hard to distinguish foods on pattern dishes and tablecloths. Use white plates with a contrasting color placemat, and only use the utensils needed for the meal.

6. Encourage family meals to promote socialization and enjoyment of food.

7. Limit distractions and noisy environments.

8. Prepare bite-size and bland foods that are easy to swallow, such as mash potatoes and cottage cheese.

9. Encourage healthy food choices packed with vitamins and minerals like veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

10. Limit intake of empty calorie foods like sodas, fried foods, doughnuts, etc.

For more information on nutrition for clients with Alzheimer’s disease please visit the Alzheimer’s Association

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.

 

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Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.


For questions or topics of interest contact Nurse Yenny at: nurseyenny@gmail.com    


 


 


 

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