Twelfth edition

Newsletter No 12: The Environment Issue (part 2) | Eating Environment | Observing People with Dementia at Mealtimes | Hoarding Behaviours | 2x Resource of the Month (Virtual Dining Room & Behaviours)…

Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter (June 2017)

This time last year the newsletter focused on how to improve the mealtime environment (take a look at the June 2016 newsletter here). As I have been writing an environmental chapter this month for my upcoming dementia friendly mealtimes book with Jessica Kingsley Publishers I thought I would share some of the great online resources I came across.

It also reminded me of why I first started to design the DMAT back in 2011 when I was observing people living with dementia at their mealtimes in a registered dementia care home. I have updated the article I wrote on this pivotal moment in my dementia journey which you can read below and which also links to the latest Dementia Mealtime Assessment Tool ‘Initial Measurement Form’ (free to download).

I hope you enjoy this months environmental issue (part 2). There is an exceptional resource of the month from the Dementia Centre at Stirling University. Additionally I have linked an article from SCIE which provides a good overview and introduction to the topic on dementia friendly mealtime environments. Finally there are two articles that focus on behaviours which as well as being a sign of an unmet need are often seen as meal behaviours in an unsupportive environment.

Do you think your colleagues or friends would find this information useful? Please do forward the newsletter to them or ask them to follow this link to sign up to our newsletter.

The eating environment for people with dementia

A great short overview of the main environmental issues encountered by people with dementia at the mealtime. Follow the links provided in the article to other useful articles on the SCIE website. The kitchens and dining areas page for example also provides a good overview of the main environmental considerations in these areas. At the bottom of this page there are also links to some other fantastic environmental resources although not all are focused on mealtimes.

What The DMAT learnt from observing mealtimes

You can read an article (linked here) which explains how observing the mealtime environment was a major catalyst for me to create The DMAT.

A thought provoking article by dementia campaigner Beth Britton 

I always like to read articles by Beth Britton not only because they are informative and thought provoking but to hear the thoughts of an unpaid carer rather than a health professional or researcher. This article makes you think about why someone may be hoarding items and may just provide you with some inspiration for ways you can support someone who often hoards or plays with food at the table which can be a common meal behaviour. 

Resource of the month!

Click the image (or here) to be taken to the The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) Virtual Care Home website. The Virtual Care Home is an online resource that demonstrates dementia-friendly design in care home settings or people’s own homes. The image is interactive (make sure you have Flash Player enabled) and you can click on the information icons to see how you can adapt that part of the kitchen environment. The website has information on other living environments that can be adapted to positively support a person living with dementia including the dining room which was our resource of the month in January (see here).

Resource of the month! (part 2)

Behaviours are not just restricted to mealtimes of course and this short booklet gives an overview of common behaviours seen in people with dementia and simple practical solutions to support them. I also suggest you read a separate article on the Alzheimer’s Association website entitled Anxiety and Agitation which provides tips on how to prevent and responds to behaviours many of which can be applied to the mealtime.

Thanks for reading, see you next month

Lee Martin MSc RD


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