5 Tips for Improving Mealtimes with Parkinson’s
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
The tremors and other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease can make many aspects of daily life challenging. One thing that can be particularly difficult is eating. Tremors make it hard to hold a glass without spilling the contents. Food can fall off the fork or spoon before the senior can get it to their mouth.
All of these things can make mealtimes frustrating and unpleasant. They may result in your aging relative eating less than they need to meet their nutritional needs.
However, there are ways to make eating with Parkinson’s disease easier.
Below are 5 tips to make eating easier...
#1: Make Plates and Glasses Non-Slip
Shaky hands can cause plates and bowls to slide across the table as the senior attempts to take food from them. An impaired grip can make it difficult to hold a glass without it slipping through the fingers. To prevent plates and bowls from sliding, place a rubber mat under them. A glass can be made slip resistant by simply wrapping several rubber bands around it.
#2: Use Adaptive Tools for Food Preparation
If your older family member enjoys cooking, there are tools that can allow them to continue being involved in meal preparation for longer. There are cutting boards that have non-slip backs and built up sides that prevent food from being pushed off the board. You can also purchase knives with weighted handles that reduce tremor. There are several other adaptive tools available. An occupational therapist can help seniors to find the ones that will work best for them.
#3: Choose the Right Time to Dine Out
Having Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have to mean giving up dining out with friends and family. However, choosing the time of the outing carefully can make it easier for the older adult. Pick a time of the day when their medicine is more effective. Also, avoid restaurants that serve food buffet style as filling their own plate and carrying it is likely to be harder.
#4: Use a Plate Guard
A plate guard is an adaptive device that fits around the edge of a plate to give it walls. This way, when the senior is trying to scoop something onto their plate, they can’t push the food off the sides. Alternatively, the older adult could use a pie plate with high walls to eat from.
#5: Use Senior Care
Another way to make mealtimes easier and more pleasant for older adults with Parkinson’s disease is with senior care. A senior care provider can assist with meal preparation or make the meal entirely on their own. Senior care providers can also hold the older adult’s hand to steady it while they eat. In addition, a senior care provider can set up the dinner table to make eating as easy as possible, placing rubber mats, wrapping rubber bands on cups, and setting out any other adaptive tools the older adult needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Midland, MI, please talk to the caring staff at Asona Home Health, LLC, today. Serving individuals and their families in Canadian Lakes, Mount Pleasant, Clare, and the surrounding areas. Call us 24/7 today at: (989) 546-4269!