Fifth edition

Newsletter No 5: Survey Results | Interventions for behaviours | The DMAT App | Independence at Mealtimes | Resource and Recipe of the Month…

Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter (September 2016)

You spoke and we listened!

The DMAT has now been available publicly for 6 months. Last month we asked you about ‘Using The DMAT’ software. So what did we ask and what did you say? Have a quick read below before checking out this months newsletter….

Using The DMAT Survey Headline News:

          • The DMAT free trial will be extended from 1 week to 4 weeks!
          • It takes on average 10-20 minutes to use The DMAT to create a person-centered care plan to enhance mealtime abilities.

‘Using The DMAT’ Survey Responder Results:
60% have signed up for a free day trial of The DMAT.
Main reasons for not signing up for a free trail were ‘not being aware’ (40%) and ‘lack of time’ (25%).
70% reported 7 days was not long enough to test The DMAT.
100% felt that 4 weeks or more than 4 weeks would have been better to test The DMAT.
50% of those using The DMAT created a mealtime care plan.
The main reason for not creating a care plan was ‘lack of time’ (75%).
The majority (66%) of those who created a care plan reported it took on average 10-20 minutes to complete and 33% said it took less than 10 minutes.

We have now extended the free trail of The DMAT from 1 week to 4 weeks (100% of you wanted this) and will make sure all members of the Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter are aware of this so they can take advantage.
Time was a major factor in the decision to sign up for a free trial of The DMAT and a barrier in determining whether to create a care plan. Hopefully by extending the trial to 4 weeks this will allow people more flexibility and time to use The DMAT.
We will also highlight how quick users found creating an individualised mealtime care plan with the majority reporting between 10-20 minutes and no-one reporting it took longer than 20 minutes.
If everyone is aware it only takes 10-20 minutes to create a care plan then this may increase the amount of dementia friendly mealtime care plans produced helping to enhance eating abilities and preserve mealtime independence.

Finally a massive THANK YOU to everyone who replied to the survey, we really appreciate you taking the time.
*The DMAT is not a substitute for good clinical care*

A useful and easy to read review giving the reader a decent overview of a very interesting set of topics 

Follow the link to be taken to the open access pdf of this systematic review. Even though mealtime behaviours are only briefly mentioned in relation to certain interventions I’m sure many of you are interested in the area of behavioural symptoms in dementia. The authors discuss several sensory stimulation interventions such as music and light therapy, interventions targeting specific behaviour such as agitation and walking (wandering) as well as other interventions e.g. animal assisted therapy. The review provides a nice overview of these intervention options and you can of course follow the references to read more.

Download The DMAT App for Free

If you have a smartphone or tablet using the Android operating system you can now access The DMAT software via our new app. This means, once downloaded, with one click on The DMAT app icon you will be taken straight to The DMAT rather than going through the website to logon.

Encouraging ways to preserve independence (Huff Post)

Really practical and sensible article highlighting three very important aspects of the mealtime; Individual Preferences, Maintaining Dignity and Creating a Supportive Mealtime Environment. All these tips help to preserve independence at mealtimes for people living with dementia. This is also exactly what The DMAT promotes.

Resource of the month!

Okay not so much a resource of the month but a place where you can pick up plenty of new resource ideas. Click the image to be taken to the ‘Nutrition Support in Later Life’ page on the Food Matters Live website. This is the seminar where The DMAT will be presenting on ‘Strategies to improve nutritional care for people with dementia’. Also have a look at all the other seminars and talks happening throughout this 3 day event. Tickets are free so sign up and come along 22-24 Nov 2016 at Excel in London.

Recipe of the month!

This look amazing! The recipe easily be adapted to increase energy (calories) and protein. For example where they use almond milk use full or semi-skimmed milk. Add extra sugar or use a sugary cocoa powder. You could also add some protein powder or milk powder to fortify the shake.
Practical tip: If using nourishing drinks to supplement the normal diet try giving these types of drinks after a meal rather than between meals. Supplemental drinks like this can ‘fill up’ someone with a small appetite and they may be less inclined to eat their next meal. Monitor and find out what works best for the person you care for.
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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