Dementia and Eating

4 Tips to Get Someone With Dementia to Eat

Seeing meals left unfinished can be a frustration to caregivers. The person with dementia may simply become distracted mid-meal.


  • Serve at a table setting that features minimal distractions. This reduces confusion over where to place attention, as well as the odds of some foods being overlooked.

  • Ideally, use a solid-colored placemat that contrasts with the table color, and a white plate that contrasts with the placemat and allows the food to take center stage.

  • Bright or contrasting solids, rather than prints and patterns, tend to draw focus best.

  • Place only small amounts of food on the plate at a time. Refill as necessary.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio