Reflective accounts

Nutrition in dementia

This CPD article provided tools and strategies to help healthcare professionals adopt a holistic approach when caring for patients with dementia.

Picture credit: Science photo library

Gaining an understanding of what foods and drinks a patient does and does not like and how often they usually eat enables the healthcare team to accommodate their preferences. Familiar foods can also be a source of comfort and security for patients with dementia during stressful events, such as admission to hospital.

Knowing the patient’s preferred diet and fluids can help promote better recovery, and prevent pressure ulcers and urinary tract infections. Managing a patient’s diet also presents an opportunity to work with family members and encourage them to become more involved in patient care, for example bringing food in for the patient and eating with them.

Reflecting on my practice, I recall many patients who would have benefited from the introduction of familiar finger foods to their diet. This strategy would be ideal for patients who do not finish whole meals or

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