Why Aging Adults with Dementia Stop Eating and Drinking

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Why Dementia Patients Stop Eating

Proper nutrition is essential for seniors living with dementia, while poor eating habits can lead to behavioral issues and a loss of appetite. The symptoms associated with dementia could affect your senior loved one’s ability to eat and enjoy foods. Here are some of the most common reasons seniors with dementia stop eating and drinking.

Difficulty Chewing and Swallowing

As dementia progresses, aging adults often have difficulty eating solid foods and drinking fluids because the areas of the brain that control swallowing are damaged. As a result, seniors develop a weak swallow. When seniors lose the ability to chew or swallow safely, they may stop eating to avoid choking or coughing. Many older adults with dementia experience a sore mouth, which causes them to consume less food. If these issues are impacting your loved one’s eating patterns, consider pureeing the food or consulting the doctor.

Dementia can make life difficult for older adults as well as their caregivers. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Lincoln Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Food Isn’t Recognizable

It’s normal for seniors with dementia to forget certain foods, which discourages them from eating. Your loved one’s sense of time may be affected by dementia, causing him or her to confuse breakfast with dinner and making it difficult to eat the right foods at the right time. Make sure to continue as many of your loved one’s old eating habits as possible, including the types of food he or she enjoys and the time and location of meals.

Bad Reaction to Medication

Some medications diminish the sense of taste and smell, while others make the food taste bitter. The dosage of the medication can also affect the appetite. If your loved one refuses to eat or drink after taking medication, bring this to his or her doctor’s attention. The doctor can prescribe an alternative treatment that stimulates your loved one’s appetite and eases other symptoms related to the condition.

Dementia is a serious medical condition that impacts a senior’s health, wellbeing, and independence. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Lincoln seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.


It’s best to eat meals in a quiet setting, away from the television, radios, and other background noises. Distractions often act as emotional triggers that cause stress, anxiety, and discomfort for seniors with dementia. When it pertains to fluids, aging adults living with dementia should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks, as these beverages can contribute to agitation, confusion, and even violence. The objective is to make mealtimes as calm as possible. When meals are disrupted, it can cause seniors to avoid eating and drinking altogether.

Older adults with dementia can benefit from professional in-home care. The type of home care Lincoln, CA, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. Whether your aging parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at (916) 226-3737 today.


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