Alzheimer's Care, Blog, Elder Law Articles

How can you get a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease to eat more? | Chicago Long-Term Care Planning Attorney Anthony B. Ferraro

Often, as Alzheimer’s progresses, a person loses his or her appetite. Getting the person to eat can be a constant struggle. This is, in fact, one of the great challenges that Alzheimer’s caregivers face on a regular basis. It might be helpful to serve Alzheimer’s patients food on brightly colored plates and drinks in brightly colored cups or glasses. A study in a recent edition of Clinical Nutrition magazine revealed that when nursing home Alzheimer’s patients were served food on bright red plates, with red cutlery, they ate 24% more than when served on white plates. Similarly, bright red cups led to 84% more liquid being drunk than out of plain glasses. It’s a little-understood fact about Alzheimer’s that as the disease progresses, the ability to process all types of information is often lost. Outwardly it might seem obvious and easy for a person to recognize food on a plate, but it can be a challenge for an Alzheimer’s patient. So if other strategies for encouraging or cajoling more eating and drinking have failed, try serving food on bright red plates and putting beverages in red cups to encourage greater consumption.  To learn more, try the Alzheimer’s Resource Kit, click here.