Optimising nutrition for older people with dementia
Delwyn Cole Dementia nurse, St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
This article explores interventions that can be undertaken to establish and maintain adequate nutritional intake in older people with dementia. This is often a problem, particularly in the later stages of the disease. A literature review was conducted, which identified 12 articles for inclusion. Most of these articles described interventions to maintain adequate nutritional intake in older adults with dementia. Although no standardised intervention was reported, some approaches did appear to be more successful than others. Further research is required on how nurses and nursing assistants can help older people with dementia to maintain adequate nutrition. Staff need more time and training to improve nutritional intake in this group of patients. In addition, enhanced vigilance with respect to eating difficulties and food consumption is necessary.
Nursing Standard. 26, 20, 41-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.01.26.20.41.c8883Peer review
This article has been subject to double blind peer review