3 Sweet Treats for Someone With Dementia Who's Having Trouble Swallowing

Many people continue to have a preference for sweets even as other aspects of appetite fade and swallowing becomes more difficult. By the severe stage of your loved one's dementia, there's little downside to indulging a taste for sweets, if it applies.

Here are three choices to try:

  • A milkshake

Milkshakes are a good way to get calcium (from milk and ice cream) into a finicky eater or someone who has trouble swallowing. But really, at this stage of disease, most doctors agree the nutrition in food is secondary to the pleasure it can provide. For a lifelong chocoholic, a chocolate shake can trigger special gratification.

  • A fruit smoothie

When made with yogurt and fruit, you provide a calcium- and nutrient-rich cocktail, and you can mix endless combinations. You can add a little ground flaxseed for the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

  • A small bit of jam placed on the tongue

For a sweet taste without a lot of swallowing, try placing a small portion (a pea-sized amount) on the person's tongue -- not enough to choke but enough to be savored. Go for high-quality jams made mainly of whole fruit, whose flavors will be richer.

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You


12 months ago, said...

I had mentioned several times to my husband that he never used to eat sweets in the quantity he does now. He purchased about 10.00 worth of candy and his routine is to keep it hidden in a sack by his bed. He will mention that someone has been in his stash if the sack is disturbed. He is not willing to share this freely with anyone even his joy great grandson. Never associated this with his disease. Thanks


12 months ago, said...

I had mentioned several times to my husband that he never used to eat sweets in the quantity he does now. He purchased about 10.00 worth of candy and his routine is to keep it hidden in a sack by his bed. He will mention that someone has been in his stash if the sack is disturbed. He is not willing to share this freely with anyone even his joy great grandson. Never associated this with his disease. Thanks


almost 2 years ago, said...

All very old suggestions!


about 2 years ago, said...

I hope this applies to the caregiver, as well! Carole


about 3 years ago, said...

Any and all suggestions can be helpful. Some will work, others will not. Keep sending them....


over 3 years ago, said...

I made my mother Protein Shakes as she was not eating well. They need the protein especially if they are starting any skin breakdown. I added yogurt to thicken it and she loved it especially strawberry. Sometimes I used Bananas or other fruit. So they get both a sweet taste and good nutrition all in one. I ordered Absorb Plus shakes and they are natural and taste great. I would sometimes just add half a scoop to her yogurt.


over 4 years ago, said...

I am glad to know this because I quit giving my husband any chocolate, cafferines because of his UTI.


over 4 years ago, said...

Always difficult to know what is OK. My husband liked creme brulie, his favorite.


almost 5 years ago, said...

Good info ~ wondering about "jam" however. Jam has actual fruit particles in it's makeup, where as, "jelly" is the fruit pulverized and strained. Jelly would be less apt to become a choke factor. This, from one who has blessed her family with both yummy items of "sweetness". When I grow to the described state, bring these suggested item on! !


over 5 years ago, said...

nice idea. never tought of that.