Mealtime and Memory Loss: Maintaining Nutrients in Loved Ones with Dementia

Mealtime and Memory Loss

For those living with memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, activities that we usually take for granted turn into daily challenges. Declining cognitive functioning can make it difficult for those with Alzheimer’s to pick up utensils, communicate their preferences or even chew and swallow while eating. Unfortunately, the difficulties that occur at the dinner table make it hard to maintain the level of nutrients seniors need to stay well.

“Since a lack of proper nutrients can lead to an array of additional health problems, it’s important that caregivers take steps to make mealtimes easier for those with memory loss,” says Kathy Wiederhold, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe Louisville in Louisville, KY. “To ensure their loved ones get the nutrients they need, caregivers should learn how to modify meals and adapt the table to their loved ones’ abilities.

“The three biggest inhibitors to a...

The “Invisible Second Patients:” How Alzheimer’s Effects the Entire Family

Alzheimer's Effects on the Family

Experts on the social dynamics of memory care advise that families can be profoundly affected by the ripple effect of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In fact, the impact on families can be so extensive that primary caregivers have been called “the second victims of Alzheimer’s,” and families have been referred to as “the invisible patients.”

Clearly, progressive memory loss can impact normal family life in a variety of challenging ways.

The Importance of Knowledge and Preparation for Everyone’s Sake

Amanda KingExecutive Director at Clarity Pointe Jacksonville in Jacksonville, FL, says, “The effects on primary caregivers can be particularly difficult. In addition to balancing the normal activities of family, career and personal time, caregivers also devote themselves to round-the-clock care and support of their loved ones. For any normal...

Engaging Those with Alzheimer’s Through Everyday Activities

For those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, finding ways to entertain and engage their loved one can often be a struggle. As the disease progresses and the person’s skills and abilities slowly diminish, they could be silently suffering from feelings of worthlessness or isolation, or they may express feelings of frustration through displaying “difficult” behavior.

“Learning how to keep your loved one engaged throughout the day is crucial to effective caregiving,” says Kathy Wiederhold, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe Louisville in Louisville, KY. “Not to be confused with mere ‘busy work,’ engaging activities are well-planned and executed to give those with Alzheimer’s a sense of purpose, self-worth, joy and normalcy. It takes time, but with creativity and careful planning, caregivers can discover the best methods for creating engaging days for their loved ones.”

A Caring...

Celebrating Milestones and Moments of Daily Life

Celebrating Milestones

Although a loved one with Alzheimer’s may have lost the ability to fully understand their surroundings, times of celebration are just as special – and as important – as they are for the rest of the family. Including loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss in holidays and family celebrations, as well as celebrating the special moments of each day, make for a better quality of life.

According to Amanda King, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe Jacksonville in Jacksonville, FL, “Celebrations of any kind have significant benefits for those with Alzheimer’s, boosting their self-esteem as they are included and providing moments of pleasure and joy.

“Even at the latest stages of memory loss, it’s important for families to remember that their loved one hasn’t left, and that they still deserve to enjoy life, even if they can’t express it in the same ways.”

Celebrating Life’s Moments, Big and...

The Importance of Purpose-Built Memory Care Communities

With the increasing population of adults age 65 and older, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are becoming more and more prevalent. There’s never been a greater need for memory care than there is today. More importantly, there’s never been a greater need to take care of our aging population with the kind of specialized support and dignity they deserve.

“Purpose-built Memory Care communities offer seniors living with dementia the highest level of care available through assisted living,” says Kathy Wiederhold, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe Louisville in Louisville, KY. “Unlike most memory care wings or special care units in long-term care facilities, communities solely dedicated to memory care can specialize every service and amenity to benefit those with memory impairments.

“Alzheimer’s disease is an ever-growing concern and, until there’s a cure, it’s our job to provide our seniors with memory loss with...