If you have a family member that is elderly and has been diagnosed with Parkinson's or you are working with someone that has this disease, being able to help them eat and get the nutrition that they need to sustain them can be quite a task. The disease will cause slow movement so you will need to be patient and give them a lot more time to eat.
You also will need to know how to fix their food to where it will be a lot easier for them to eat. It's a fact that almost 70% of those people who have Parkinson's will lose a lot of weight because of the illness. This is because they simply get tired of trying to eat since it takes so much time to do so.
When you are planning a meal for the person you are taking care of, make sure that you plan for a very long mealtime. If this is a family member that lives with you and your family, you need to make the other members of your family understand that they too must be patient when they are at the table and get them involved in some good conversation which will help with the slowness of the meal.
By not showing patience, it's going to be harder for the person with the disease to be patient as well. If they feel that they are being hurried because of the way people around them are rushing, they will become anxious and unwilling to eat.
A person with Parkinson's disease will probably take anywhere from three to five times longer now to complete their meal. So if you are use to 20 minute meals you are now going to have to plan for at least an hour to get the meal over with.
When you prepare the food make sure to cut up foods that are hard to manage like meat, into very small pieces and do this before you serve them their meal. Asking a person with Parkinson's to use a knife is nearly an impossible feat for them to handle.
You should also have warming trays that are portable to keep the food on so that the food will not be ice cold before they even get half way through their meal. No one wants to eat cold food. You can get these from most department stores in your area.
Don't expect the person to be willing to try and use a fork either. It is far better for them to be allowed to use a spoon, especially for items that are hard for anyone to pick up with a fork, like peas for an example. You also might want to consider using your blender or a food processor you might have to make some foods easier to eat, especially for those who might also be wearing dentures or partials.
It will be a lot easier for the person you are helping to feed if you try giving them six small meals every day instead of three large meals. This will ensure that they will get the nutrients they need. You can fix three smaller main meals and then three different times during the day where you give them small snacks that are good for them.
It's important to note that a person who has this disease should have a calorie intake of anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 calories on a daily basis.