Improving the nutritional status of people with dementia.

Br J Nurs 2001 Sep 27-Oct 10;10(17):1104-14

Lathkil Ward, The Southern Derbyshire Community and Mental Health Service, Derby.

The attention given to the nutritional needs of older adults receiving hospital care has been the subject of research over recent years. It has been suggested that older people are suffering from malnutrition as a result of poor nursing care. Those involved in care of persons with dementia are faced with considerable difficulty when trying to respond to their nutritional care needs and there is concern that there may come a time when the care team will withdraw food and fluid. However, in Southern Derbyshire we believe that we now have a set of standards for nutritional care of older adults with dementia that can ensure adequate and good nutrition despite the numerous and complex problems posed by dementia. This article discusses the progress of a sample of 20 residents of a long-stay ward over a period of 6 years and shows how a multidisciplinary team accessed, developed and applied an evidence base to practice to the benefit of the sample group. The outcomes show that malnutrition can be reversed, and that people who are considered to be in the final stages of dementia can improve their nutritional status.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2001.10.17.9949DOI Listing

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May 2002
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