Symptoms that come with dementia are very harmful side effects if they persist for long in an individual without getting resolved in good time. Deterioration in the functional ability means that the individual will not be able to hold a drink or even a spoon, making it a difficult task for them to eat even when they want to. A change in the emotional state may make individual not even think about food and sometimes they may get in very bad moods to an extent that they just don't want to eat even if food is available for them. The impaired cognitive ability makes an individual forgets that they had eaten and sometimes end up tipping their food away or pouring out their drinks. To help these people you have to be very diligent with them and ensure proper sanitation around them so that they cannot mistakenly take in contaminated food.
Poor nutrition means having a diet without all necessary nutrients and is a bad practice for every living human but worse on people with dementia. It would lead to more stress and confusion, this would lead them to a more deteriorated condition, lowering their cognitive ability and general health status, and therefore they would forget more about food and would become even weaker that they cannot feed themselves. Good nutrition is a good thing for every being and helps improve brain stability and overall good health, therefore, people suffering from dementia need a well-balanced diet all the time as they go through their recovery or care processes.
Depression is one major emotional and health condition that may negatively affect the feeding style of a person with dementia. Depression makes an individual lose appetite and attain bad status where they develop a lack of interest in drinks or food. For example, a woman suffering depression due to the loss of her husband may be depressed to the extent that they don't want to eat any food as most times they would prefer being on their own. This social isolation would make one forget to eat as they overthink about their problems.
People tend to have different view cognitive, functional and emotional changes associated with dementia can affect eating, drinking and nutrition when it comes to food. This could be as a result of cultural practices and beliefs. When you meet such people physically, it is easier to learn about their backgrounds and beliefs so that you can serve them with the right food. Eating as a group is a quite encouraging thing, for that reason, when you meet and eat together you both feel the urge to eat.
Other than meeting and sharing a meal it is a good idea to avail variety of meals since people with dementia have more strict diet choice as compared to individuals operating normally. Having several meals in such situations would make it easier to serve a meal of interest. For example, some individuals may prefer soft meals over those demanding chewing and they may be having varied reasons as to why.
Number, of course, meal sizes, specific meal times, the order of food and other mealtime cultures may be at times inconvenient for people with dementia. Take for example an individual who requires assistance to eat, they would not feel always free to eat in a public place where others stare at them as this would give them discomfort. It is therefore advisable to consult them whether they are okay eating with other people in public places or whether they would prefer private rooms. Subsequently, pre-set eating times are not good for people with dementia as they would only prefer to eat when they feel like doing so.
Cleanliness is important when it comes to dining. It is very important to ensure you wash your hands before handling food. People with dementia need great care and clean food as they need to avoid any kind of contamination. Setting the table properly and neat presentation of food may increase the urge to eat. More trust will be developed from the manner food is presented as it would trigger positivity towards the meal.
Individuals undergoing care for dementia badly needs a person-centred approach as it is necessary for them to improve their eating and drinking habits. This type of approach engages people with good skills in helping out. Even when these patients can eat and drink well, they would still need good care, guidance and encouragement along the feeding process. Also, mealtimes should be sufficiently staffed to ensure that people who need it get it right when they need it.
It is important to know the life history of individuals living with dementia as it would help a caregiver serve food and drinks to them according to their preferences as they would be able to tell what they like and what they don't like. From their reports, you can also tell which food they are allergic to. When you have these tips you will be able to know the exact meal to serve them.
Individuals living with dementia have been addressed by the proper understanding and knowing the specific needs likes and lifestyle to help make choices in what they need to eat. These pieces of information can be important in cases where individuals cannot make food choices on their own. The information documented in the daily report is good to help come up with correct decisions when serving food and drinks.
A person-centred approach will help meet nutritional requirements. Through care and support, an individual's state of mind improves as they would be taking a good diet leading to a generally improved health condition.
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