Researchers Puzzle Over Mealtime Dementia Care

From Bill Myers writing for Provider: (Very interesting read)

Playing music, moving to “family style” service, and other meal reforms appears to help people living with dementia, but experts say they don’t know how to find the best course (or why it works).

British researchers say they’ve surveyed thousands of studies on different approaches to making those with dementia more comfortable while they eat, but, like Churchill’s notorious pudding, the research lacks a theme.

“Most of the studies were small, and the reporting was of poor quality,” University of Exeter researcher Rebecca Whear writes for her colleagues in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. “We identified only 11 studies involving 265 individuals that met the inclusion criteria for this review.”

More than half of long term care residents suffer from malnutrition, which cascades into other problems, from infections to falls, experts say. Keeping residents with dementia calm during meals is, therefore, critical for providers and the residents.

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