My husband probably has late mid-stage Alzheimer's and I...

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 31, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband probably has late mid-stage Alzheimer's and I have a problem that I have not seen addressed in all the books I have read. I have trouble getting him to actually sit down at the table to eat. His appetite is good and once he sits down he eats well, but I call him 3-4 times and he says he is coming but then gets distracted on the way to the table. I tried asking him to accompany me to the table and that works to get him to the kitchen, but once there he wanders off. If I press him too much, he gets irritated and tells me to leave him alone. Any suggestions?

Expert Answers

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

People with Alzheimer's disease often develop eating problems and yours it not that uncommon. You may need to develop a menu of finger food that he can take with him as he wanders about. Almost everything can be placed in between slices of bread so a person can walk and eat. I think you asking him to accompany you to the table is a great approach to use. Can you make a table look like it is in a restaurant and suggest that you are on a date? This is a stage that usually passes rather quickly but in the meantime do try the finger food approach. Always have food that he can carry around with him and if you can find something that catches his interest, a television show, a game anything that he will sit for make sure you also have food available