Dementia is on the increase throughout the world. It is a very challenging disease in which people gradually lose the ability to function. It is associated with an increased risk of malnutrition. People suffering from Dementia can have dissociation from food and the dining process. This means that they may not be able to remember what food is, how to eat when to eat it, how to use cutlery/crockery or even how to sit in a dining room.
Strategies for menu planning
- Snacks available especially at night-time
Finger foods can be a useful way to get a person to eat extra foods
- Look at the foods the person is gravitating to and ensure that they are supplied. For example, if the resident always eats their desserts, supple extra desserts throughout the day even for the evening meal. Work with your dietitian to ensure that the desserts are fortified.
- Have more finger foods on the menu for the resident
Strategies for the dining room
- Examine where the best seating position is; if the residents get agitated sit them by themselves
- Assist the resident to eat
- Help with using cutlery
- Use colour contrasting tablecloths and placemats
- Buy red/blue crockery as this has been shown to increase food intake
The Foodservice Centre has loads of helpful dining room resources. To keep up to date with Nutrition & Catering Global Hub (NAC GH) make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter.