Alzheimer’s is a devastating and cruel disease. One of the areas where it is especially difficult is a meal. Your mom may say what she wants to eat and not remember saying it just a few minutes later. You’ve made pancakes after she said that’s what she wanted. She’s arguing saying she hates pancakes and wants an omelet.
You can’t get angry. You can’t force her to eat pancakes. What you’ll want to do is sit and cry. These seven tips can make it easier to manage meals.
Create a Weekly Menu and Shop Once
Figure out a menu with all meals and snacks each week. Make sure you’re covering extra meals in case she refuses to eat something. Build a list and rely on this when you’re in the store. You can avoid splurge purchases this way.
You can also set up the list in some grocery stores so that you can pull them up weekly and arrange to have them readied for pick-up service. It saves time going in and doing the shopping on your own.
Aim for Finger Foods
It’s going to be easier at first. Your mom won’t have a hard time with cutlery. The ability to grasp and hold a spoon or fork changes over time. Finger foods will be easier for her to pick up.
Find Favorites and Stick to Them
When you find a food she loves and eats without complaining, put that on a list of favorites. It’s easier to get her to eat favorites than it will be other meals. For example, if she will eat boiled eggs on toast all day long, have eggs and bread in stock.
Have a Second Option Available
If you cook a meal and your mom doesn’t want it, pull out a second option. Make that option one of those favorite meals. This helps avoid meltdowns caused by frustration.
Pair Sweet and Savory
Many men and women with Alzheimer’s have an incredible sweet tooth. If your mom is like that, pick foods that are going to tap into that craving for sweetness. A coleslaw with added raisins, apples, or pineapple works well. A chicken breast that’s glazed in teriyaki and served with grilled pineapple slices is another idea.
Package and Freeze as Many as Possible
When possible, take time once a week to set up meals in freezer bags. On the morning of a busy day, pull out one of these meals, put it in the slow cooker, and walk away. The slow cooker will free up your time.
Hire Caregivers to Help With Care
Have caregivers help you with your mom’s care. If you’re not trying to help her get showered and dressed while also preparing breakfast, you’ll be less overwhelmed. Call a home care agency to discuss the other benefits of caregivers.