Engagement increases the enjoyment and amount of intake. Suggestions include sitting down at the same level with the person and making eye contact with the senior. Make conversation. Even if they are not able to respond verbally, conversation will improve intake. Studies have shown that older adults will eat more in the presence of others than when alone. Cueing them with actions like putting utensils in their hand are helpful to prime someone with dementia for eating.
What is on the plate obviously matters too. When comparing facilities, ask what are the daily raw food costs. To illustrate, the range of raw daily food cost can range from $4.34/day to $17.22/day. I am certain there’s a limit to what even the best chef can wring out of $4.34/day on a consistent basis.
Feeding programs in long term care homes increase weight and muscle mass. However it should be noted that some care staff are often overly focused on completing the task of feeding and forgetting that eating is a social affair. The above mentioned study averaged 37 extra minutes were required for each patient. I can attest that rarely happens in a long term care facility.