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Linda Bell Middleton
Enjoyable Meals for the Elderly
Comfort Keepers - Largo

Enjoyable Meals for the Elderly

Mealtimes are important times for the elderly or ill because they provide a welcome diversion in the day. Meal times are a nice opportunity to socialize. If it is not too distracting, have the person in your care eat with the family or others. Expect and ignore spills and less-than-perfect manners. Play music and dress up the table. Here are some other tips that you can use to encourage good eating habits for the person in your care
For Best Results at Mealtimes
Allow 30-45 minutes for eating.
Avoid cluttered meal presentation.
Make sure all items are ready to eat and within reach.
Provide a consistent, comfortable table/chair or other eating arrangement.
Supply easy-to-hold eating utensils. To avoid cuts, throw out all chipped cups and plates.
Minimize excess noise such as television and radio.
If vision is poor, be consistent with where food is placed on the plate.
Before feeding someone in bed, take caution to
Prop the head with pillows.
Provide an over-the-bed table.
Do not rush feeding, but maintain a steady pace.
Cut the food into bite-size portions.
Explain what food is served.
Fill cups only half full.
Let the person hold the cup if she wants to.
Use available eating aids e.g., mugs with two handles, swivel spoons, plate guards and rocker knives.
Keep a moistened hand towel to gently wipe the persons mouth and hands.
If the person in your care has
Alzheimers, it is always good to
Name the food being offered.
If the person plays with food, limit the choices being offered.
Check the temperature of the food.
Be gentle with forks and spoons.
Feed at a steady pace, alternating food and drink.
Remove a spoon from the persons mouth very slowly.
Give simple instructions such as “open your mouth,” “move your tongue,” “now swallow.”
If the person spits food out or refuses food, provide a drink and return in 10 minutes with the food tray.

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