Loss of appetite: Getting the support you need on Talking Point
From the April/May 2017 issue of our magazine, find out how our online community could help if someone with dementia begins to lose their appetite.
As a person’s dementia progresses, their relationship with food also changes. It can become hard to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. The person may struggle with chewing and swallowing, and co-ordination problems could affect their ability to eat. They might have difficulty cooking, or no longer be able to recognise hunger.
One common issue is a loss of interest in food. This can have a knock-on effect on the person’s independence, health and mood. It may lead to weight loss, and it can be difficult for carers to find ways to encourage the person to eat.
Eating and drinking
Find out more about problems with eating and drinking that people with dementia often experience and advice about what to do.
Through Talking Point, our online community, people can share ideas to help increase a person’s appetite and interest in eating.
'Chatting to the person during the meal, for example about childhood memories, may help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.'
Some suggest trying different flavours to see which are the most appealing, or offering small nutritious snacks like protein bars. Mixing different tastes, smells and colours could also help to remind the person that they are hungry.
Talking Point members have recommended encouraging the person to be involved in preparing food. Chatting to them during the meal, for example about childhood memories, may help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Others have said that giving the person liquid or soft foods like milkshakes, mousses, jellies, soups or smoothies can be helpful.
Each person with dementia has their own individual preferences, routines, culture and needs, and so any solutions will need to be right for them. Because of this, the range of ideas that people share on Talking Point can be very helpful.
There are forums for people dealing with every stage of dementia, and on many different topics and challenges.
Through speaking to other people in similar situations on our online community, members can ask questions, make suggestions and share their experiences with others.
Get your regular copy of Dementia together magazine today.