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Alzheimer's and Other Dementias: Maintaining Good Nutrition

Topic Overview

Getting a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia to eat enough may be a challenge in some cases. Some of these tips may help you.

  • If the person resists using a spoon or fork, don't force the issue. Some people may have vision or motor problems that make using a spoon or fork difficult. Serve food that can be easily eaten, such as finger foods. Prepare foods the person likes and don't worry too much about how the food is eaten.
  • Offer food more often, including healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
  • Set aside enough time for meals. The person may take longer to eat.
  • Limit choices, which can be confusing. Serve meals in courses, one food at a time.
  • Make sure the person's dentures fit properly. Uncomfortable dentures can make eating painful and keep the person from eating enough.
  • If the person is losing weight, consider adding a liquid nutrition drink, such as Ensure, to his or her diet. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.
  • Eat with the person.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
Last Revised October 29, 2012

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