Our occupational therapist with Galberth Health would like to share a few tips to help improve the dining experience for residents with dementia and their caregivers.
1. Minimize distractions. Adjust noise levels and visual disturbances so that there is less competing stimuli during mealtime.
2. Simplify the setting. Remove “busy” linen and/or tableware that will not be used for that particular meal. Serve one course at a time so they are not overwhelmed with options.
3. Allow extra time. Cueing may be needed throughout the meal but do not rush them to finish as this may upset them and decrease overall intake. Instead engage and join in on meal so that they may simulate your eating behavior.
4. Identify personal challenges. Do their dentures fit properly? Are they seated correctly? Can they see their food? Can they hold their utensils? These questions may prompt consultations with healthcare professionals which could include their MD, optometrist, dentist or occupational therapist.
We hope these tips were helpful!