With Alzheimer's, A Child's Love May Be the Answer
"Today, my 12-year-old son, Sean, 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.)
Resistance To Food
If you have a family member or friend who once enjoyed having a snack or tea-party with a child, you know this activity may offer an enjoyable way to increase oral intake. With dementia, some individuals may be uncooperative when encouraged to take supplements. The resistance may be due to lack of trust, or may be one way of exerting independence. Those same individuals might be wooed into eating a delicious Strawberry EAT Bar when offered by a little boy, or having a Dark Chocolate EAT Bar at a tea-party with a little girl. Dependent upon the age of the child, you might be able to be a silent observer of the interaction; you will be able to tell if this activity could successfully be repeated.
The EAT Bar is a useful tool because it is a finger-food that is not messy, and is as easily consumed by a child who has lost their two front teeth, as an older adult with poor mastication.
The years of being a speech-language pathologist and working with older adults, have shown me that children benefit from having opportunities to interact with seniors. Children learn that people grow old, but at the same time, regardless of age, almost everyone enjoys sharing a treat. In supporting the elderly, even though they may be young, children can be valuable helpers.
Bring Joy Back To Snack Time
Our team at The EAT Bar is on a mission to bring joy back to snack time for the people you care about who may have difficulty swallowing. Everyone feels good when they make someone else happy. In caring for others, there is room for everyone to make a difference. Think about a grandchild or child you know and consider if they might like to have an EAT Bar snack or host a tea party with a dear friend of yours, and explain the good they could do. A rehearsal with you is a good idea. Then wait to see smiles all around!
To learn more about The EAT Bar go to www.TheEATBar.com or keep tabs on what we’re doing on our Facebook and Instagram pages @TheEATBar.
-By Paulette Wood MS ccc-slp & EAT Bar collaborator
Paulette Wood, is an EAT Bar product collaborator and highly respected Speech Language Pathologist. She has an extensive history of developing innovative programs in dysphagia, including the first multi-disciplinary dysphagia treatment team in Iowa. Paulette has presented numerous seminars, key note speeches, and formal addresses for various service organizations, professional bodies, and community groups. She edited Dysphagia Management Program, a multi-disciplinary application and wrote a monthly column for the Stroke Club Newsletter. In addition, she was a commissioned writer for Menu Magic Foods and Mead Johnson. Her publications include: co-authoring Dining Skills: Practical Interventions for the Caregivers of the Eating Disabled Older Adults, published by Consulting Dieticians in Health Care Facilities, a practice group of the American Dietetics Association, and Funded by the Retirement Research Foundation.