How Do I Get My Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease To Eat?

Dr. Whithouse answers the question: 'Getting An Alzheimer's Patient To Eat?'

May 4, 2009 -- Question: How do I get my loved one with Alzheimer's disease to eat?

Answer: Eating problems are an issue particularly later on in the illness. And I think it's important to try to explore when people are refusing to eat, what the message is. Is it that they have some dental problems? Is it that they really have gotten to a point where a food is not as pleasurable for them as it used to be?

So I think it's always important to understand as best you can the perspective from the person with the condition. What is it that's bothering them, including other physical problems? But then of course it's knowing the person. What are their likes and dislikes, and tailor making as best can be a range of food based on preferences that may be known to you.

Or if its in a facility where you haven't known the patient a long time, then you can explore with family members or others. And of course experimentation and trial and error is important in these conditions because they're very individualized as the way they affect people.