Reflective accounts

Combating malnutrition in patients with dementia

A CPD article informed Stacy Jenkins about addressing issues of malnutrition in patients with dementia

A CPD article informed Stacy Jenkins about addressing issues of malnutrition in patients with dementia.

Abstract

Under-nutrition is common in people diagnosed with dementia. As their condition progresses, an individual’s oral intake may reduce considerably, resulting in significant weight loss. Validated nutrition screening tools should be used to identify a patient’s level of risk.

People with dementia can experience a range of issues that affect nutrition, including difficulties in swallowing, an inability to recognise hunger or thirst, failure to identify and recognise foods, or an inability to know when and how to chew. Individuals with dementia who are admitted to hospital with acute illness experience changes in mealtimes, choices and habits that may result in a deterioration in their mental state. This is exacerbated when they are unable to communicate verbally.

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This reflective account is based on NS784 Evans L, Best C (2015) Managing malnutrition in patients with dementia. Nursing Standard. 29, 28, 50-57.

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