773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

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Dining with Dementia

Nutrition and good appetites are key to maintaining the health of those with dementia. Trouble with physical mobility, appetite or overwhelming environment can make mealtimes difficult. Dining shouldn’t be a challenge or a time for stress, it should be a time to enjoy a meal in a social setting and participate in conversations with others.

Meals with plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins are essential for a balanced diet for those with dementia. Refined sugars, high saturated fat, cholesterol and high sodium should be limited. It’s important for those with dementia to have a good appetite. Some causes of a poor appetite include recognizing food, side effects of medication or not getting enough exercise.

“We make sure our residents get the best nutrition in a calm, understanding and safe environment,” says Crystal Yost, PCHA, PCH, Administrator of Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. “Our exceptional staff, beautiful dining room and delicious meals all work together to create an optimal dining experience for our residents.”

Dementia can be difficult, but there are specific techniques to make dining a pleasant and friendly experience. Adaptability and mindfulness of how dementia affects eating habits and food taste will help to develop plans for meals in the future.

Dining for Those with Dementia

  • Have a simple, quiet and non-distracting place to eat meals. Too much noise and clutter can disrupt a person’s appetite and discourage them from eating.
  • Easy choices. Too many food options could be overwhelming, but by presenting a small number of choices, the person with dementia feels the independence of choosing what he or she wants.
  • Serve softer foods. Tougher foods can be frustrating and dangerous for those who have trouble chewing. Softer foods make eating easier and more enjoyable. Don’t make the immediate jump to pureed food without trying softer foods first.
  • Eat with them. Eating alone may be disheartening and unstimulating. By eating with someone who has dementia, not only are they seeing someone else eat, but this is a great opportunity for social interaction.   

Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr

Impressions Memory Care is dedicated to providing residents with a warm, welcoming home staffed with kind, compassionate people who are always ready to give the best care possible. Dining at Impressions is a comfortable and thoughtful experience and will certainly meet the needs of those with dementia. Impressions has: 

  • A beautiful dining room. Residents can feel comfortable and relaxed here when they come in for meals. The quiet and friendly feel of the dining room provides a nice setting to eat and socialize.
  • Healthy and delicious meals served three times a day. With plenty of nutritious options cooked to perfection, residents will love their chef-prepared food. They have the choice of two plated meals and can pick whichever they like best.
  • Social atmosphere. Social interaction and conversation are highly encouraged at mealtimes. Residents, caregivers and staff are all welcome to be as social as they are comfortable with to make the experience even better for those with dementia. This might even give them something to look forward to, as the meals are served three times a day.

Dining with dementia requires thoughtful preparation that is both safe and enjoyable for those with dementia. Proper nutrition and the right environment are needed for those with dementia to get the most out of mealtimes. By implementing techniques like making the setting simple and intimate and being mindful of what kind of food is being served, one can improve the dining experience of the person with dementia. Remembering to include the social aspect at mealtimes is a great way to encourage eating and make it a pleasant time for the person with dementia and his or her caregiver.

“Impressions is dedicated to making the community feel and run just like a home. Mealtimes at home are meant to be delicious and a great time to socialize, and we make sure to provide that for our residents,” says Crystal. “Dementia can make dining difficult, but Impressions has the techniques that make dining a fun and relaxed event for residents.”

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments.

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives. 

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock. 

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5404 orcontact us online. 

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.