I am the caregiver for my elderly grandfather who has dementia. Lately I have noticed that he's been having difficulty eating. He will put the food in his mouth but not chew or swallow it. I am worried he is going to choke. What can I do to help him?

Asked by: Michele Trice |Posted on: December,21 | Viewed: 400 times

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Hi Michele. Glad you asked. It's fairly common for someone with Alzheimer's or dementia to have difficulties with eating. The Alzheimer's Association has some great tips for caregivers looking to help loved ones with dementia stay nourished as they age. 

In order to increase appetite, you can try getting your grandfather involved in more physical activity during the day. When it is time to eat, you can try to encourage appetite with pictures of his food choices. Using colorful kitchenware has also been proven to increase appetite and get individuals to eat more. 
In order to make sure your grandfather is safely eating and reduce the risk of him choking on his food, consider switching to a liquid diet. Seniorly's Pinterest board "Food for Thought" is full of delicious, healthy meal choices for the elderly. Consider making him smoothies, milkshakes, or soups to get him the nutrients he needs without the risk of choking. Pureed food is a great choice for caregivers trying to get their loved ones to eat more and stay healthy. You may want to talk to a nutritionist or dietitian to ensure that your grandfather is getting all of the vital nutrients he needs. 
For more information, check out our nutrition articles in the Seniorly Resource Center! https://www.seniorly.com/resources 
Hope this helps! 
Seniorly


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