Fourth edition

Newsletter No 4: The Environment Issue | Physical Environment | Observing People with Dementia | Day Centre Innovation | Resource (Dining Areas) and Recipe of the Month…

Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter (June 2016)

The newsletter this month focuses on how to improve the mealtime environment.

My attention was drawn to the mealtime environment this month after receiving an email from an Age UK team doing some amazing work in Doncaster. The ‘Eat Well’ project is dedicated to improving the nutrition and quality of life of older people and those living with dementia by tackling malnutrition. If interested please have a read about the project here. I am sure others can learn something from the scheme. 

The ‘Eat Well’ teams work in Day Service Centres, which reminded me of the complexities of care I used to see when I occasionally visited these services as a dietitian. The mealtime environment created at the day centres can have a large impact on a person living with dementia.

So this month we have an article which discusses a practical approach taken to make the day service centre environment more ‘dementia friendly’. Further information on improving the mealtime environment is included with a great review of the evidence and I particularly like the ‘environmental’ resource of the month. Please do take a look at this to see if there are things you can incorporate into your dining environment. 

Great research review looking at the evidence and effectiveness of environmental mealtime interventions 

Authored by a research team in Canada this is a really good review and worth the short time invested in reading it.  I particularly like how they relate the evidence to practical use in supporting an individuals functional ability at mealtimes. The authors also focus on person-centered dementia care and how this requires a shift in attitudes,
behaviors, and systems to replace the traditional model of care that primarily focuses on the ‘‘tasks’’ rather than the individual. 

What The DMAT learnt from observing mealtimes

If you are on LinkedIn you can read an article I posted which explains how observing the mealtime environment was a major catalyst for me to create The DMAT.. 

Practical advice for day service centres

Published in Nursing Times this article is written like a research study but in reality is a great example of good practice and practical interventions to improve the care provided to people with dementia who visit a day care service for their meals.

Resource of the month!

Click the image to be taken to the Dementia Enabling Environments website. The image is interactive and you can click on the numbers to see how you can adapt that part of the dining environment. A pdf download is also available plus the website has information on other environments that can be adapted to positively affect a person living with dementia.

Recipe of the month!

Crouqe Monsieur ‘Pop Tarts’ is what the chef calls these. Not sure why they are pop tarts you do not put them in the toaster to cook them! It is a nice twist on a simple pastry with some more exciting ingredients. Pastries are a tasty, inexpensive and high calorie food, which often contain a source of protein and can be bought in many places including supermarkets hot sections.This recipe uses pre-bought puff pastry making it easier and quicker to make.
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


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