Eighth edition

Newsletter No 8: A Modern Research Classic | Archived Newsletter | Food Service Innovation | Resource (Dining Areas) and Recipe (videos) of the Month…

Dementia Friendly Mealtimes Newsletter (January 2017)

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017. Thankfully so far this year we haven’t caught a bad cold (as yet) unlike everyone else it seems

There are going to be some big updates to The DMAT practical interventions this year. I am coming toward the end of writing a book on the practical nutritional care of people with dementia at mealtimes with Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The evidence based information I researched for the book has expanded our knowledge on intervention options at mealtimes and these will be updated in The DMAT.  All of the interventions are aimed at improving the independence, dignity and well being of the person with dementia while of course also attempting to improve food intake and avoid nutritional inadequacy.

More on the book another time because I am also very happy to say that I will be presenting The DMAT to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in a couple of months. I will let you know how that goes. There are some innovative speech and language pathologists (SLPs) in America looking at practical ways to deal with the dual diagnosis of dementia and dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). If this interests you more information on this topic can be found here.

There are some excellent resources and information in this months newsletter, click the pictures to be linked to the full articles or follow the links. If you know anyone who would find this information useful please do forward the newsletter to them or ask them to follow this link to sign up.

A modern classic report on nutrition and dementia

For me this is one of the most important research papers of recent years addressing the huge issue of nutrition and dementia. The pdf. of the research report is linked in the picture and can also be found here. I actually went to the official launch of the document in London back in 2014 thanks to The DMAT’s involvement with Compass Group at that time. More on that next month… This is a big report to read but well worth it.

Access all the past Dementia Friendly Mealtime Newsletters

It is great to see we get more and more people join the newsletter each month. For those who are recent members or for those who want to go back through past editions you can access the archived newsletters from the menu bar at the top of the website www.thedmat.com or from the footer either directly to the most recent editions or to the whole archive here.


Personally we think at the moment the food service industry is not doing enough to meet the specific needs of people with dementia at mealtimes. There are changes to the way food is presented, the types and textures of foods available along with the tableware provided to eat the food that can be adapted to support people with dementia. It is therefore good to see this company Unidine in America taking a lead in this area. Currently their main interventions are based on the finger food side of things, providing a set of finger foods specifically designed for people with dementia rather than the typical boring finger food choices. Their claims on ‘brain boosting’ foods are not really necessary however the premise of what they are doing is sound and we hope other companies providing food to people with dementia start developing more ‘Dementia Friendly Menus and Foods’.

Resource of the month!

Click the image to be taken to the University of Stirling’s The Dementia Centre ‘Virtual Environments’ page on their website. The image is interactive and you can click on the information bubbles to see how you can adapt that part of the dining environment. The website has information on other care home room environments that can be adapted to positively affect a person living with dementia and can be found here. Understanding age-related changes and impairments is the first step towards creating living environments which support the needs of older people and those with dementia.

Recipe of the month!

Instead of one recipe this month we link to 8 recipe videos from the chef Peter Morgan-Jones. He worked with Hammond Care Dementia Centre in Australia to produce two cookbooks dedicated to improving the standard of food provided to people with dementia. All the videos show how to make texture modified foods and we recently added them to The DMAT YouTube Channel which you can find here.
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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