Typically, eating is one of the most pleasurable activities those with memory loss engage in a regular basis. In fact, even those without memory loss finding bonding over a shared meal to be a pretty good time. However, as dementia progresses it begins to affect this special joy in a variety of different ways.
That is why at Azura Memory Care we have researched and tested ways to ensure our residents’ dining experience is a true MOSAIC of support that enables them to enjoy every bite!
Often those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia rely heavily on mouth breathing to intake air. As a result their taste buds do not function as they normally would, causing them to seek very sweet or salty foods. In addition, substances in the mouth can be greatly intensified so a toothbrush to the tongue can feel like sandpaper or pudding like gritty gel.
In our kitchens at Azura we work with a Team of Dieticians to ensure that all food is prepared to be dementia specific so that the flavors are as rich as possible, while the texture remain muted. In addition, the food meets or exceeds the daily nutritional needs of our residents as is tasty too!
Those within our care will often have visual issues related to either the disease or aging process. As a result, being able to see items on their plate becomes very hard. A study done by Boston University’s Vision and Cognition Lab of the Center for Clinical Biopsychology, found that those with dementia will eat 25% more off a red plate, because they are more able to see their food.
In learning this and testing it, we have seen an increase in the consumption of food and beverages in our homes. As a result, we are proud to explain that by the end of February every Azura home will officially “Go Red” and have red dishware to enhance our residents’ dining experience!
Our goal truly is to “transform the Culture of memory care,” even if it’s one red plate at a time!
"We want to thank you for the loving special care you took of our mother, Diane. It was truly mom's home and you all became part of our family. Everything was home for her....from the beautiful rooms, large sunny windows all around, good food made with love, fun and personal activities from people who really loved our mom. We would highly recommend your facility to anyone. The staff from the director, to the doctor, to the nurse, to the caregivers and the maintenance man were all extremely helpful, caring, loving and professional. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you. Your exceptional care, kindness, and love were beyond anything we could have imagined. You were part of our family, and we will miss you." - Gail Sommers and Deborah Guse