Improving the eating experience

A good mealtime experience can have a positive impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. Food preparation and the person’s surroundings can be important.

Ways to help improve the eating experience for a person with dementia

  • Make the environment calm, relaxing and as appealing to the person as possible. Think about what environment they usually like to eat in. If the person feels comfortable, it can affect how much they enjoy eating and the amount they eat.
  • Keep the table free from clutter. Avoid patterned items that can cause confusion.
  • Consider playing soothing music at mealtimes, as this can help create a relaxing environment. Try to switch off any distracting background noise and avoid distracting movement, for example on the television.
  • Be led by the person with dementia on where they would like to sit and eat. Ensure that they are comfortable.
  • Try not to worry about mess – it’s more important for the person to eat than to be tidy. Wipe-clean mats and covers may help.
  • If you or others are eating at the same time as the person, it may help encourage them to eat.

Preparing food 

Staying involved in preparing food and drink can help people with dementia to maintain certain skills, and to stay interested in food and drink.

Carers, friends or family members could help prepare meals. You could break down preparation into individual tasks, such as preparing vegetables or buttering bread.

It’s important for the person with dementia to do as much as they can for themselves. 

Eating and drinking aids

The Alzheimer's Society shop has a range of aids that can help with eating and drinking.

Visit shop