Second edition

Newsletter No 2: Systematic Reviews | The DMAT Story | Dealing with Mealtime Problems | Resource and Recipe of the Month…

Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter (April 2016)

Since February 1st 2016 when the DMAT became a live online system over 200 people have signed up to this newsletter. I think this is pretty amazing and shows the level of interest for improving the independence of people living with dementia at mealtimes. 

*The DMAT does not try to replace the advice from a healthcare professional. Nothing can better the personal advice from an expert tailored to the individual. Instead the DMAT tries to provide common sense, practical and cost effective solutions to support mealtime eating abilities all based on the evidence available.* 

Systematic review on interventions to improve food & drink intake in people living with dementia

This recent paper is open access so download a copy and have a read. It is a slightly frustrating paper as the authors concluded ‘We found no definitive evidence on effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness, of specific interventions‘. Thankfully they do put the hierarchy of research evidence to one side and introduce some common sense when they say that despite this lack of evidence people with dementia and their carers are still required to tackle eating problems and the authors list promising interventions. Many of which are featured in the DMAT you will be happy to hear.

The DMAT story

About the DMAT story

If you are interested to know why we created the DMAT and how it has been developed since 2011 have a read about us here.

Food, Eating and Alzheimer’s

Every month we will link to useful article on mealtime eating difficulties. This article is found on the American Alzheimer’s Association website. It discusses some basic healthy eating advice but also provides lots of really good practical tips for the mealtime including how to make mealtimes easier and encouraging the individual to feed themselves and maintain independence. There are also a couple of links to some other useful resources.

Resource of the month!

For those living with dementia dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) is unfortunately a common occurrence. To provide food that is safe to eat the Dysphagia Diet Food Texture Descriptors provide the benchmark for the appropriate types and textures of foods. The descriptors are something everyone providing food to people who have swallowing difficulties need to be aware of. The resource above (click the image to obtain a copy) references the descriptor guidelines but also provides additional practical advice and recipes specifically for dementia.

Recipe of the month!

Finding interesting nutrition support recipes that are high calorie and dementia friendly is the aim here! I love this recipe idea which uses a muffin tin to cook mini omelettes. They look great and once cooled these can be a great breakfast finger food option. Plus they are easy to make and you can add all sorts of ingredients to make them suitable for the individual.
You can find more cooking ideas and dementia mealtime information on The DMAT Pinterest boards. Just click on the Pinterest logo below and take a look.

Thanks for reading, see you next month

Lee Martin MSc RD


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