Alzheimers nutrition can be tricky. Which stage of Alzheimer's Disease your family member is in will determine how difficult this task will be. The early stage usually is not too difficult. Their eating behaviors and appetite are about the same as they were before the disease.
Your problems will begin to surface in the middle stage of the disease. The appetite will decrease. They will forget to eat. Their coordination will become increasingly worse and they will have trouble feeding themselves. There are several things you can do to help them get enough to eat & drink. Many people find it is better to have 5 or 6 small meals a day, instead of the usual 3 we are used to. Finger foods are easier for them to manage. Now is the time to begin the health shakes and a daily vitamin if you have not already done so.
Hydration can become a problem which can lead to health issues. You will need to make sure they are getting enough to drink. The recommended amount is 8-10 glasses of fluids a day. Keep an eye on their urine output. If they are not going to the bathroom several times a day they may be getting dehydrated. Another sign of dehydration is dark urine with a strong odor. (A strong foul odor can mean a urinary infection and should be checked by a doctor). A urine infection in older people can wreak havoc! They can have personality changes, quit eating, begin sleeping more, begin falling, or just appear sick. If something is just not right and you can't put your finger on it have them checked for a urinary infection.
As they move from the middle stage to the late stage, alzheimers nutrition becomes a bigger issue. Getting them to eat will become harder and harder. Some people refuse to open their mouth and let anyone feed them. At some point your physician may suggest a feeding tube. This is not a decision to make lightly. If your family member is still in the early stage, please address this with them now! Most people do not want their life prolonged by a feeding tube. I believe that quality of life is more important than the quantity of life. It is very important to know your loved ones wishes on this subject and that you respect their wishes when the time comes.
Dr. Michael Greger 5 minute video talks about Alzheimer's prevention and the relationship to diet.
Dr. Neal Bernard 17 minute Tedx Talk on Power Foods for the Brain
Do you have tips on Alzheimers nutrition that works well for a family member? Share it! Other families would love to hear your ideas or suggestions.
Click on the links below to see other great Alzheimer's nutrition tips. They were all written by other visitors to this page.
Playing Tricks Can Sometimes Help! Not rated yet
i've found out that with my patients, you can buy clear soda and mix 1/2 soda and 1/2 clear unflavored gatorade and it helps to keep them from dehydrating …
Nutrition Drinks Not rated yet
We have found the nutrition drinks taste better cold. The chocolate seems to be the favorite. I think if they are really cold he thinks it is a milkshake. …
Do you know what stage of Alzheimer's Disease your loved one is in?
Do you know what to watch for next?
Do you have sitters coming in and need to have a better system to help them provide the best care?
Does your loved one have behaviors that you should be tracking?
Do you have all of the information written down you need when you go to your doctor visits to help them understand what needs you may have?
Do you need help keeping track of appointments, medicines, vital signs, weights, meals, bowels, and behaviors?
The Caregivers Notebook will help you recognize what stage your loved one is in and prepare for what is coming next for your loved one.
It is very important you understand the disease and know what is coming next!
I also have an Alzheimers Blog site
Please check it out if you have time, I believe there is a lot of information you may find helpful.