March 26, 2019

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Creating the right environment for someone who is living with dementia

March 26, 2019

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Dementia tips for enjoying a Mother's Day Meal

March 15, 2019

 

Mother's Day is on Sunday 31st March. So are you going out with your Mum? Or preparing a meal at home? Here are some tips for the special day.

With the increase in Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on women, more families are celebrating Mother’s Day with their mums who have dementia. Approximately 61% of of those who have Alzheimer’s in the UK are women, with men being the remaining 39%. Women have a greater life expectancy than men which means they are more likely than men to develop dementia. Mother’s Day lunch/dinner has become a UK tradition, however dementia can make the dining experience difficult. Given my own prsonal experience I have compiled and created an ongoing list of tips which has proven helpful.

Sadly, smell and taste can often diminish with dementia, which makes meals less enjoyable and so with time can lead to a loss of interest in food.

And as the dementia advances, it can also become physically hard for the person to eat and so those who have dementia may start to have trouble using cutlery and utensils. Their perception of depth can be affected, making it much harder to manage the food on their plate and lift it slowly to their mouth. Chewing and swallowing can also become problematic. However, there are a number of things you can do to help address these issues.

Here are some tips for Mothers Day:

Create a menu of your mother’s favourite food, even if it isn't what you'd normally prepare for her at that time of day. And remind her that she has always enjoyed eating it in the past. This with hope will hopefully reignite her interest in food and eating it.

• Bring your food/meal out one item or course at a time. So it is easier to follow and focus on.

Create a colour contrast between the tablecloth and the plates and the food that is being served. So each is easy for the person who has dementia to visually distinguish.

• Set the dinner table with shallow bowls with wide brims as they are easy and neat to eat from. Avoid flat plates or deep bowls.

• Provide utensils with large, easy-to-grip handles.

• Consider not using utensils and instead offer finger-food, instead of having to organise cutlery usage.

• Give your mum her drinks in the same type of glasses that others are using. However, give your Mum