Persons living with dementia may sometimes refuse to eat. They may become angry, agitated, or challenging to feed during mealtimes. This can happen for a variety of reasons:
• Disliking the food
• Feeling rushed
• Feeling uncomfortable with people or the environment
• Feeling frustrated with the difficulties they are having
It can be challenging to identify what the actual problem is, particularly if they have difficulties communicating. It is important to remember that these reactions are not deliberate.
Try not to rush the person or pressure them to eat and drink quickly. Instead, look for non-verbal cues such as body language and eye contact as a means of communication. Wait until they are calm and less anxious before proceeding with the meal.