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When a Loved One with Alzheimer’s is at the Holiday Table”


Tips for Most Dining Enjoyment As Dementia Touches More New Jersey Families


Medical News 4


[Woodbury, NJ] -- Family gatherings around the dining room table are beloved holiday high points. With the number of people in New Jersey living with Alzheimer’s increasing, many of the get-togethers will include a loved one with a form of memory loss or dementia. Annette Simmons, executive director with Woodbury Mews, can provide tips on how to ensure holiday meals are most festive and enjoyable for everyone at the table.


Key Points

  • There are 180,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in New Jersey and that number is expected to climb to 210,000 by 2025, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • There are a number of easy steps you can take at home to make the dining experience most successful for a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s.
  • Use contrasting table settings, such as colorful plates against a light-colored tablecloth, to help with depth perception.
  • 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.
  • Offer a selection of finger foods and options served in bite-sized portions to make eating most manageable.
  • Keep table decorations to a minimum so individual items are easier to see and recognize.
  • Remember that other factors, such as whether the dining room is a pleasant temperature and chairs are comfortable, or if there is music playing which may make it more difficult to hear or follow conversations, will also contribute to a successful dining experience.

    As part of its commitment to helping seniors thrive, Woodbury Mews offers the Gourmet Bites Cuisine signature program that restores the joy of dining for people with physical, neuromuscular and cognitive changes, which can make mealtimes a challenge. Woodbury Mews is operated by Watermark Retirement Communities.


Woodbury Mews, located in Woodbury, N.J., is a retirement community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care to up to 238 residents. Residents enjoy close proximity to premiere shopping and dining, as well as the best physicians and medical services Woodbury has to offer. With the cultural treasures of Center City Philadelphia within easy reach, residents have the best of both worlds. Woodbury Mews is managed by Watermark Retirement Communities. Learn more by visiting or calling 856-491-4920.



Watermark creates communities where people thrive through experiences beyond the ordinary and lifestyles far removed from the traditional concept of senior living. It was the thirteenth-largest senior living operator in 2019, according the American Seniors Housing Association, with more than 50 communities coast to coast. Watermark has been named among the top 25 Best Workplaces for Aging Services in a national program conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and published on A privately-held company with a reputation for service, innovation, integrity and financial stability, Watermark is based in Tucson, Arizona. Visit for more information.




Our mother suffered with Alzheimer's for five years. We were able to keep her and my dad, who was sick with Parkinson's, at home over that period of time which started in 1988-89. My father George died in 1994 at the age of 81 and my