Carol Howell Talks Dementia: Don’t Put That Food in the Fridge

Carol Howell - Food in the FridgeMomma has a good appetite. She enjoys fresh fruits and veggies, and a piece of chocolate will make her smile. (Who doesn’t feel that way?) She lives with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, and making sure she has good nutrition is important.

Many times Momma will have a meal with me, and I will send home leftovers. These leftovers are placed in the refrigerator where they live until they grow green stuff. Momma forgets they are in the frig. She will open the frig to get something to drink, see the leftovers, but the thought process needed to retrieve the food and eat it never happens. Thinking about this problem, I decided to forgo the refrigerator.

Each day I arrive at Momma’s home at Agape Assisted Living, and I prepare a plate of fresh fruits, sliced veggies, a scoop of peanut butter, and a hidden piece of chocolate. Throw in a few whole wheat crackers, and Momma has a wonderful meal/snack ready at her fingertips. The key is this—I leave this food on the counter under a colorful see through screen. When she looks at the kitchen counter, she sees the food, and she eats it. ALL of it!

Eating healthy is important during our entire life. Once Alzheimer’s enters our world, we still need to eat healthy. Make sure to keep healthy snacks available and at the fingertips of your loved one. Don’t hide those healthy snacks in the refrigerator or kitchen cabinets. Your loved one may not remember to retrieve them. Place the snacks on the counter in a bowl where they can easily be seen and consumed.

It’s an easy fix, and I hope that gives you Something to Ponder.


Photo by Christopher Paquette via Flickr

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