Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide - Eating

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Getting an Alzheimer's patient to eat can be difficult. Please share tips for meal ideas and routines.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

Eating: Getting a Person with Alzheimer's Disease to Eat

Eating can be a challenge. Some people with Alzheimer's disease want to eat all the time, while others have to be encouraged to maintain a good diet.

  • View mealtimes as opportunities for social interaction and success for the person with Alzheimer's. Try to be patient and avoid rushing, and be sensitive to confusion and anxiety.
  • Aim for a quiet, calm, reassuring mealtime atmosphere by limiting noise and other distractions.
  • Maintain familiar mealtime routines, but adapt to the person's changing needs.
  • Give the person food choices, but limit the number of choices. Try to offer appealing foods that have familiar flavors, varied textures, and different colors.
  • Serve small portions or several small meals throughout the day. Make healthy snacks, finger foods, and shakes available. In the earlier stages of dementia, be aware of the possibility of overeating.
  • Choose dishes and eating tools that promote independence. If the person has trouble using utensils, use a bowl instead of a plate, or offer utensils with large or built-up handles. Use straws or cups with lids to make drinking easier.
  • Encourage the person to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
  • As the disease progresses, be aware of the increased risk of choking because of chewing and swallowing problems.
  • Maintain routine dental checkups and daily oral health care to keep the mouth and teeth healthy.
Return to Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide

See what others are saying

Comment from: T.Colson CNA, (Caregiver) Published: October 21

Consistent meal times are an absolute must. Alzheimer's patients rely on a schedule. Change in routine, in my opinion causes agitation, or confusion, which could lead to resistance in care. Find out what kinds of foods the patient likes. If you notice that the patient is eating less than normal, they may not like what was offered to them, so it is good to have an alternative on stand-by. I have found some Alzheimer's patients don't like 'slimy' foods such as Macaroni, or certain pastas (they can't stand the texture). It is important to make sure that you eat with them, making constant references to the meal, such as, you should try that corn, it is so good, or that chicken is good, isn't it?' Make sure you are eating what you are referencing. 'Monkey-see-monkey-do'! Lastly give praise for how much they ate. Everyone enjoys praise, and they are no different.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: MizzColgate, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 26

I am a primary caregiver with my boyfriend of 6 years, whose mother is in the 6th of 7 stages of Alzheimer's and was just diagnosed two months ago. It is extremely difficult to get his mom to eat 3 meals a day, much less two. The smell of cooking bothers her and her appetite is minimal. We were told by our support worker to try and leave the plate on the table covered or counter top and let her know it is there for her to eat when she is ready. This has been a great help and saved us from her verbal confrontations about eating some days.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!