"Today, my son Sean, 12, and I stopped by the nursing home together for the first time in several months. Usually, I come alone to see my mother, who's suffering from Alzheimer's. When we walked into the lobby, the nurse said, "Hi, Sean!" and buzzed us in. "How does she know your name?" I asked. "Oh, I swing by here on my way home from school all the time to say hi to Grandma and visit a little," Sean said. I had no idea.” - Valerie C.
Sean knew how much his visits meant to his grandmother. In my years as a speech-language pathologist, I’ve seen time and time again how connecting with a child can lift the spirits of a family member or friend with dementia—and even reduce struggles around eating.
A patient who resists food or supplements from a medical care team, whether from distrust or a desire for independence, may be wooed by a grandchild sharing a snack. A delicious strawberry or dark chocolate EAT Bar, for example, could be the perfect treat for a little tea party, as easily eaten by a child who has lost two front teeth as by an older adult with chewing difficulties.
Tips for a Successful Snack Time
- Ask a grandchild or other child you know if they would like to have theEATBar or host a tea party with an older family member or friend. Let them know how valuable a helper they will be and the joy they’ll bring.
- Do a rehearsal with the child ahead of time.
- Arrange the get-together. Depending on the child’s age, you might sit in as a silent observer. You’ll be able to tell if the activity could be successfully repeated.
- Wait to see smiles all around.
Our team at theEATBar is on a mission to bring back joy to snack time for you and your loved ones with eating challenges. Chat with a child in your life about inviting someone you care for to a party today!
To learn more about theEATBar go to www.theeatbar.com or keep tabs on what we’re doing on our Facebook and Instagram pages @TheEATBar.