The correct nutrition is extremely important for even the healthiest people among us. The right nutrition therefore, can make a vast difference in many patients. People who suffer from mental conditions are no exception. The correct food can prove to be detrimental to their recovery while lack of care when giving them their meals can worsen the degeneration. Here are a few tips on how you can give them the right nutrition.
Why is it hard?
Making sure that your loved one is eating ample of healthy and nutritious food as well as making sure that they remain hydrated, is often a big challenge. No matter where you are located in the world, there are always places and resources that can help you out. For example, if you are located in the Middle East, you should always keep to hand a good Emirates home nursing facilities that you can approach if this condition worsens, especially, because many patients forget that they ate or when they last had water. The medication that was prescribed to your loved one will also have many side effects such as a funny after taste in their mouth which will put them off of food. However, bear in mind that if the patients do not receive enough nutrition they will suffer from many ailments such as irritability, bowel irregularities, sense of feeling disoriented, weight loss and even bladder issues.
Making meal times fun
Try your best to make meal times as fun as possible. Organize these meals or even snack times roughly at the same time each day and make it a sort of entertaining routine that the person will look forward to. If you research a bit on mental healthcare, you will realize that most dementia care homes offer five to six small meals in a day rather than have their patients eat three big ones. Try to follow a similar pattern as much as possible. Incorporate resources such as a funny television program, their favourite songs or even a bunch of flowers to cheer them up during the meals and avoid overly loud noises. Make sure the person has enough time to take in their food and drinks and remember that eating on their own is more important than eating the food in on organized manner. If you can, eat with them. They will feel appreciated and look forward to it each day.
Always think from the perspective of your loved one when you prepare their meals. If you know that they will find it hard to bite and chew, wherever possible, cut the food into small pieces and if a glass cannot be used, introduce a sipping cup (the kind used by kids). If they find it hard to chew and then swallow, try to move their chin in a chewing manner or even stroke their throat downwards which will guide them on what to do. If your loved one is shedding weight fast, prepare nutritious snacks with a high amount of calories between their meals. If they have put on weight, the reverse is true. In either case consult a relevant medical doctor and nutritionist and draw your meal plan with their approval to minimize risks.
Cook them what they like
Maybe, your loved one enjoys a bowl of hot soup but with chunky bits and pieces of meat and vegetables. However, they cannot chew and swallow without running a risk of choking. Don’t go ahead and blend in all the vegetables and force them to eat it, because they will not. They will also most probably never want to eat soup again. Instead, boil the vegetables and meat for an extra amount of time so that not much chewing is needed, add some great flavours and make them the meals they like the most. They are challenged mentally, not taste-wise.