Nutritional Requirements of Individual with Dementia

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4222-366 Understand and meet the nutritional requirements of individuals with dementia Outcome 1 Understand the nutritional needs that are unique to individuals with dementia. 1.Cognitive means the affect that dementia has on thinking skills eg memory, understanding etc. Functional is about the ability to perform actions such as feeding themselves. Emotional is about how they feel and react eg confusion can cause distress and aggression. As dementia progresses, eating and drinking can become difficult for some people. This factsheet looks at some of the difficulties that people with dementia may have with eating and drinking, and suggests ways to help. A person with dementia may no longer recognise the food in front of them. They may struggle to use a knife and fork as co-ordination becomes difficult. The person may not open their mouths as food approaches and may need reminding to do so. Food may be difficult to chew or swallow or they may not want to accept assistance with eating.

2. Dementia can greatly affect a person's relationship to food and eating. The behavioural, emotional and physical changes that take place as dementia progresses can all have an impact upon a person's eating habits and on their intake of food and drink. It is important to do what you can to make sure that the person you are caring for enjoys their food and eats a healthy, balanced diet. As dementia progresses eating can become difficult for some people. However, by making a few changes you can help keep mealtimes as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

3. Physical discomfort - The person may be having problems with badly fitting dentures, sore gums or painful teeth, all of which will make eating uncomfortable. Lack of exercise - If the person is not very active during the day, they may not feel hungry. Try to encourage them to move around during the day and take part in physical activities or exercise. Damage to the brain - A person may not recognise...
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