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8 tips to make your Thanksgiving table Alzheimer's-friendly

With these easy tips in mind, it can make that turkey-filled table enjoyable for everyone involved.
Credit: monkeybusinessimages
A family at the holiday dinner table.

Thanksgiving dinner is a great time for the whole family to get together, but sometimes, it can present challenges that go beyond timing all your dishes to be done at the same time. 

Accommodating guests with Alzheimer's disease could be one of those challenges. 

With an aging population across the country and the numbers of Texans with Alzheimer's expected to increase from 390,000 to 490,000 by 2025, it's all the more likely that your Thanksgiving table could include at least one guest living with the disease. 

Which means making sure it's a great meal for everyone with some particular preparation is all the more important. 

A spokesperson for the Preston of the Park Cities retirement community in Dallas offered a few suggestions for a friendly table: 

"1. Use contrasting table settings, such as colorful plates against a light-colored tablecloth, to help with depth perception.

2. Prepare food in contrasting colors – for example, place dark green vegetables beside the serving of turkey on your loved one’s plate so that individual items are easy to distinguish.

3. Offer bite-sized portions and choices that are easy to eat without utensils to make eating most manageable.

4. Keep table decorations to a minimum so individual items are easier to see and recognize.

5. Remember that other factors, such as whether the dining room is a pleasant temperature and chairs are comfortable, will also contribute to a successful dining experience.

6. Remember to be flexible to food preferences and keep long-standing personal preferences in mind when preparing food.

7. Give the person plenty of time to eat as it may take an hour or longer to finish eating.

8. Eat together. Make meals an enjoyable social event so everyone looks forward to the experience."

With those tips in mind, it can make the experience enjoyable for all with minimal effort. Have a great Thanksgiving! 

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