Eating well with dementia

Thursday 26 October 2017

At Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition (AMN) we believe nutrition is integral to healthcare. Whether managing a long-term condition or recovering from an illness, dietary intervention can play an important role in delivering outcomes to individuals as part of their overall health care. 

NutriciaIn particular, for those living with Dementia, good nutritional advice throughout the illness, can have a positive impact on health outcomes, quality of life and the experience of those caring for them.

At Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition we work with key organisations such as Care England, Carers UK, Malnutrition TaskForce, Alzheimer Society and Alzheimer Scotland to raise the awareness of nutritional risk in people with dementia and their carers.  

In a recent survey conducted by Carers UK, we found that nutrition was often a hidden issue with over 60% of carers being worried about the nutrition of the person they care for and often do not know where to go for help.  This can result in increased strain and worry in an already challenging role, which can also have consequences for carers health and well-being.  

Carers UK and Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition have jointly produced nutritional leaflets, including Eating Well with Dementia, and The Importance of Eating Well for Carers to better support carers and those living with Dementia. Eating Well with Dementia covers many areas experienced by people living with dementia from early stages when perhaps taste changes or food refusal can occur, and in later stages when difficulty with chewing and swallowing can make eating and drinking even more difficult.  The top tips section discusses how to manage these changes as well as how to access HCP’s at the right time for further support.  The Train the Trainer package and online nutritional training resource is aimed at supporting Carer groups and organisations to understand the importance of Good Nutrition when caring and includes as Dementia specific section.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit at Alzheimer Scotland’s annual conference in Edinburgh in June, where we shared our nutritional resources with Alzheimer Scotland staff, Health and social care staff, as well as those living with dementia and their carers.  Our ‘Eating well with dementia’ guide was of particular interest to everyone we engaged with especially Alzheimer Scotland post diagnostic support workers who were keen to share the information with the families they support.