As we discussed in our last blog post, providing care to a loved one that is suffering from middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s is extremely tasking — especially during mealtimes. While preparing a healthy meal, you are still responsible for caring for your loved one, and the difficulties don’t stop there. Preparing food and feeding your loved one may not be the most difficult part of the mealtime process, as you physically have to get your loved one to the dining room table before you can even think about such things.
That is where we come in. At HomeCARE Furniture by ComforTek, we manufacture and sell homecare furnishings like mobility assists chairs that allow for an easier and safer transition from standing to being positioned at the dinner table. We offer a variety of Alzheimer’s homecare chairs ranging from bariatric chairs with wheels to swivel dining room chairs with casters to ensure that if the mealtime process is difficult, that getting your loved one to the table is not the hardest part.
In our last post, we discussed a few of the issues associated with mealtime, as well as some ways to ensure that mealtime goes more smoothly — once again, allowing mealtime to be enjoyable. Join us as we continue to discuss some of the ways that you can make mealtime easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
Only Serve Two Foods At A Time
As a caregiver to someone with middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s, it is important to do everything you can to ensure that they do not become overwhelmed. While the amount of food on their plate might seem like something that would not constitute causing an issue, it can. By only serving two foods at once, there is less to focus on, making the overall experience easier.
Cook What they Want (Within Reason)
In the middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s, a momentous change in their taste, vision, and spatial ability may change. Because of this, it is important to begin cooking foods that taste better to them, are easier to eat, and are easier to see. If they do not have a strong preference, or cannot decide what they want, cook them something that they used to like. Often times, the foods that they have always been more accustomed to will be easier for them to eat.
Remind Them When They Ate
As a form of Dementia, Alzheimer’s patients may, and likely will, forget when they have already eaten, or not eaten. Because of this, it is important to carefully and considerately remind them when they have already eaten. If you have trouble remembering if they have eaten, as their primary caregiver, consider keeping a calendar and marking when they have eaten their meals and on what days.
Give Them Time
If there is one pet peeve that most people have it is that they get frustrated when they finish their meal, and have to wait around for others to finish. As a caregiver, you likely know that with Alzheimer’s, eating is not a quick process. Mealtime can last over an hour, but it is important to not rush your loved one as they eat. When a person suffers from middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s, their spatial awareness is dramatically affected, making it harder to locate the food with their utensil as well as to deliver it to their mouth. Additionally, they may become forgetful, even when it comes to chewing and swallowing, being why it is essential for them to be supervised by a caregiver during mealtimes.
Lastly, Eat With Them
Something that we have noticed when people become caregivers to their loved ones who are suffering from Alzheimer’s is that at some point the care becomes so tasking that it begins to feel more like a job than simply helping a loved one. It is important to spend personal time with them as well because even if they are at times unsure of your relationship, it has been shown that Alzheimer’s patients respond positively to personal interaction. So sit down, eat with them, laugh with them. Mealtime was once enjoyable long before they were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so why shouldn’t it be now?
Make Mealtime Easier With HomeCARE Furniture by ComforTek
Here at HomeCARE Furniture by ComforTek, we understand how difficult it can be as a caregiver to a loved one that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — both emotionally and physically. Every day caregivers have to work their hardest to ensure that the person in their care is comfortable, happy, and safe — all while worrying about their own health and safety.
While we understand that almost any task, regardless of size, can become difficult, we understand the extreme difficulties associated with mealtime. From preparing the food to feeding, to simply ensuring that they do not choke, mealtime can seem like quite the burden — and all of that can only happen once you have safely helped them to sit down. That's where we come in.
Our Alzheimer’s homecare furnishings are specially designed with both the caregiver and the person receiving the care in mind. Featuring easy positioning tools like the mobility assist lever, you can carefully scoot them into the table, setting them down and lifting the casters once your loved one is pushed into the table. Additionally, we offer swivel dining room chairs with casters that allow you to swivel and lock your loved one into position ensuring that they can safely get up, and sit down at, the table.
If you are a caregiver to a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we urge you to check out our inventory of mobility assist chairs today. If you have any additional questions about our homecare furnishings please don’t hesitate to contact us.