Many times it becomes more and more difficult for those with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia to eat. There are many possible reasons for this change or loss in appetite.
- Changes in taste/preferences
- Forgetting to eat
- Not recognizing foods
- Medication side effects
- Difficulty with motor skills & using utensils
- Being overwhelmed by too many choices
While people with Alzheimer’s do not require a special diet; many times because we see a decrease in their appetite we will also see a decrease in weight and overall strength. Here are a few ideas to bring nutrition to them without causing an argument.
- Physical Therapy can help to increase their appetite by burning calories that may otherwise not be burned if they were left to simply sit around. Generally, it can become easier to bring them a plate of food shortly after working with our therapist.
- Finger foods can become your friend. Choosing one or two finger foods takes away the sense of being overwhelmed by too many choices and also adds to the ease of eating by using their fingers.
- Drinking their nutrients can be an easier answer than eating them. This doesn’t mean having to purchase ready-made nutritional drinks that don’t taste good. There are a number of ready-made drinks that do taste good; but, making fresh cold smoothies offers an abundance of taste made naturally. Adding an organic whey protein (be sure that there are no GMOs and if possible limit soy) will ensure that your smoothies contain enough protein.
- Smoothies – Summer is a perfect time to introduce “milkshakes” or what many refer to as smoothies to your loved ones. Most seniors will be more responsive to the term milkshake as opposed to smoothies. But one of the key reasons to create these smoothies for your loved one is that you can use local fresh produce to make creamy, delicious, high protein drinks. Here are a few basics about creating a great smoothie aka “milkshake” for your senior.
An inexpensive & very good smoothie maker can be found by Farberware® and comes with a set of plastic glasses (various sizes) & 2 blades. We found ours for $19.94 at WalMart™ but a lot of places carry it. You can purchase it online at Walmart™ here.
Here’s what you need to make a great smoothie:
|Protein Powder (Wegman’s has
an Organic Vanilla Whey
Protein Powder that goes well
with any flavors)
|Frozen Fruit – any fruit you want or a bag of mixed fruit works! You can use fresh fruit, clean it and then freeze it or start with an already frozen bag of fruit||Milk or Milk Alternative
(we like using Almond Milk
especially for those who
are dairy intolerant)
Simply place your frozen fruit into the cup, add your scoop of protein powder & then add your milk or milk alternative so that the cup is filled JUST BELOW the FILL TO HERE LINE on your cup.
TIP: Use a black magic marker to mark the line so it’s easier to see!
Place your lid/blade onto the cup, be sure it is sealed tight, and turn it upside down into the blender base. Blend until all of the fruit is completely gone & you can’t see it.
Remove from the blender base, unscrew the lid/blade and you have just created a high protein smoothie. It’s simple, easy & delicious. You call it a milkshake and nearly anyone will love to drink up! This is an amazing way for seniors to get some protein into them, some hydration, and their fruits and veggies! Yes, you can slip some veggies in there also.
Another trick is to purchase an organic, all natural juice called Naked® which carries bottles of read to drink fruit & vegetable juices. Instead of adding your own fruit and veggies you can add about ½ to 1 cup of the juice (try Green Machine to get all of your green veggies & fruits – I promise it tastes amazing) and add some crushed ice or a few ice cubes to your smoothie to get a thick result. We combined some mixed frozen fruits with the Naked® Green Machine, some Organic Vanilla Whey Protein, & a splash of Almond milk to get this yummy drink!
You can’t mess this up because as long as you place your ingredients of choice into the fruit smoothie maker and don’t go past the FILL LINE you will come up with an amazing milkshake that’s loaded with nutrients & protein.
Give it a try! Let us know if you come up with a great smoothie recipe. Freeze some peeled bananas, peeled & quartered slices, fresh strawberries, add some fresh kale! Let us know what you’re drinking this summer for your SENIOR SMOOTHIES!
Dedicated To Your Health & Well-being (and safety),