Although persons living dementia may have challenges with eating, such as chewing, ability to taste or smell food, or remembering how to eat, the dining experience can have a tremendous effect on their socialization, how much they eat and if the time they spend eating is enjoyable or frustrating. Improving the dining experience is certainly possible, whether in a community-based setting, a hospital in the home or even in a restaurant.
As my mother's Parkinson's Disease progressed, it was very apparent that food and the mealtime experience became more important to her. So much so, that I remember saying "Mom's still finds joy in yummy food". That said, her "yummy" was not always the healthiest, but we wanted her to be happy. We knew that healthy foods were important, but probably not as important as the joy of witnessing her with excitement dig in to a chocolate fudge sundae with extra whipped cream. Now THAT was a quality dining experience!