Community Blog

Why Is Your Elderly Loved One with Dementia Less Interested in Eating?

By Denise Roskamp

Elderly Care in Natick MA

Eating can be very complicated for a loved one who has dementia. She may even stop eating as much as she used to or you may find her resistant to the idea of eating. Here are some of the reasons why that might be happening.

She Forgets What She's Doing

It's entirely possible that your loved one can forget what she's doing midway through a meal or even as the fork is on its way to her mouth. It can help if you're at the table with her and also eating, so that you can prompt her with both works and actions to keep eating.

She's Experiencing Pain or Other Problems and Can't Express Them

If your loved one is in pain or is having trouble swallowing or chewing, she may not realize what is going on. She may also not know how to express that to you or to anyone else. This can especially be the case if your loved one wears dentures and they're not fitting properly.

She Doesn't Recognize the Food

Your loved one may also have a difficult time recognizing that what is in front of her is actually food. It can help to prompt her periodically, reminding her what she's eating and what dishes are in front of her. Try to serve your loved one foods that she enjoys, particularly if she's having a difficult time recognizing food.

She's Having Side Effects from Medications

Some medications may make your loved one have less of an appetite, but she may not be able to let you know that. Check with her doctor if you suspect that her medication could be a factor in keeping her from eating as much as she could be eating.

Her Senses Don't Work the Same Way They Used To

As your loved one ages and as dementia steals more of her brain's processes, some of her senses may not work the same way that they used to work. This can mean that your loved one's sense of smell or taste may keep her from fully appreciating meals. Try experimenting with different herbs, spices, and recipes to find flavors that she still enjoys.

Work with your loved one's elderly care providers to try to find solutions for these issues so that you can keep your loved one eating.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN NATICK, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.