As a tradition that has persisted throughout all of human history, sharing meals is at the heart of communities around the world. Each year, new things happen in a family: People get promoted, become pregnant, and move away. They also get sick, progress in their illness, and even pass on. When everything else is changing, coming together during the holidays for a family meal is a comforting constant.

For people with dementia, however, meals can lose their glamour both in the day to day and for special occasions. Regular meals are accompanied by feeling overwhelmed by too many choices and forgetting to eat. Here is a resource from the Alzheimer’s Association that can focus on nutrition tips.

In this post, we provide you with some little practical steps you can take to ensure that your loved one can enjoy their meal as best as they can with the rest of the family.

  1. Limit distractions like television or extraneous noise.
  2. Keep the setting simple by avoiding patterned plates, which can be overwhelming sensory information.
  3. Offer one food item at a time so they are not overwhelmed by a large number of options.
  4. Allow plenty of time to eat.
  5. Eat together! Mealtimes are a great opportunity to be social.
  6. Serve finger foods that make it easier for them to serve themself independently.

Check out the Alzheimer’s Association website for more specific tips on maximizing PWDs’ mealtime experiences. Happy eating!