Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Center

At Christmas, will you share a table with someone who has Alzheimer’s?

At Christmas, will you share a table with someone who has Alzheimer’s?

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If you share a table at Christmas with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease here are a few tips to make it easy. Fundació ACE carries out daily work with more than 100 Alzheimer’s patients. This allows us to know the needs and obstacles faced by a person affected by this disease. Not only that, the weekly contact with their families, helps us to understand what happens in the coexistence.

Diseases such as Alzheimer’s involve an overall loss of cognitive function, a fact that interferes with the normal development of activities, such as eating, that are vital. A chain is generated between dementia and malnutrition that aggravates the patient’s health status. Symptoms caused by dementia, such as loss of memory and smell, provoke that, from the beginning of the illness, the patient’s eating behavior is progressively diminished. In the end, when the patient is unable to move by himself, this difficulty ends up leading to the inability of the patient to ingest for himself.

In these days where family meals and dinners are celebrated, if we have the presence of someone affected by Alzheimer’s, we recommend taking into account several factors. The purpose of these tips is not just to put things easy if not to get them to enjoy too. These tips can be summarized in 5.

  1. Serve food in a relaxed environment in which the sick person is comfortable and protected. It is important to avoid distractions, since many have difficulty concentrating.
  2. Make sure that the diner enjoys the moment without getting too tired. In this sense, it is advisable to prepare unique dishes containing the first and second in one, for example: beef stew with potatoes and vegetables.
  3. Prepare food that is easy to eat. Dishes in very small portions and very chopped to relieve the difficulty to chew and the consequent rejection. Prepare more juicy and / or gelatinous recipes to prevent the patient from holding food in the mouth. Whenever possible, it is recommended to maintain an unmutured feed, since the mixing of unmashed food with the saliva favors digestion. Eliminating fish thorns, which although being a very suitable food in a soft diet, can cause serious problems in swallowing if it is not free of shavings.
  4. Look for a diet rich in fiber and residues, by incorporating vegetables, fruits and vegetables, to reduce the problem of constipation in the sick. Seek a balanced and varied diet in both food and cooking. Apply the ration system, grouping the foods by their main functions and where the consumption of a certain number of these ensures a balanced contribution of nutrients. For example: 3 servings of dairy, 4 servings of farinaceous, 3 servings of fruit, 2 servings of vegetables, 2 portions of meat and 3 servings of fat.
  5. Use crockery, cutlery and table linen that draws attention to its color and does not present any danger to the diner. Cook combining the colors of the dishes with food to encourage the interest of the patient. For example: a red dish with white rice, peas and fried eggs.

 

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