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Q: provide encouragement to the individual to eat and drink
A: As people age, their interest in eating and mealtime enjoyment can change. Some older adults find that their senses of taste or smell decrease, making food seem less appealing than it did in the past. [ Others eat less because of difficulties chewing or digesting as they get older. Medicines can also affect appetite, and constipation may increase with age or medication use. When a person has AD
or other dementia, these problems can become more pronounced, and mood, behavioral, and physical functioning problems may affect eating as the disease progresses. ?When the brain is involved, as in dementia, any part of seeing, thinking, or moving can be affected?from problems seeing the food clearly to difficulty planning the movement of scooping with a utensil and bringing food to one?s mouth. These problems can take the pleasure out of eating,? explains Sue Coppola, MS, OTR/L, BCG, clinical associate professor of occupational therapy and core interdisciplinary team member with the Program on Aging at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Coppola and other dementia-care experts stress the value of caregivers not only understanding the degenerative nature of dementia but also recognizing that dementia varies from person to person. In the early stages of AD, challenges may be limited to the person skipping meals or forgetting to eat or forgetting that he or she has eaten. However, other eating-related difficulties and patterns?from not sitting down long enough for meals to spitting out food or refusing to eat?can arise in the middle and late stages. ]
selymi|Points 9876|
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Asked 1/11/2013 11:44:06 AM
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