501 Use and Develop Systems That Promote Communication (Shc51)

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rusuion1
Words 3583
Pages 15

Eating and drinking
People with dementia often experience various problems with eating and drinking. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important. It can help maintain physical and mental wellbeing. This factsheet looks at the importance of a healthy diet and the difficulties a person with dementia may have with eating and drinking. It will also look at some practical ways to help a person with dementia eat and drink well.

The importance of eating and drinking
Eating and drinking well is important to stay healthy. A healthy and varied diet is likely to improve a person’s quality of life. Not eating enough can lead to weight loss and other problems including vulnerability to infection, reduced muscle strength and fatigue. People with dementia may become dehydrated if they are unable to communicate or recognise that they are thirsty, or if they forget to drink. This can lead to headaches, increased confusion, urinary tract infection and constipation. These can worsen the symptoms of dementia. While a healthy, balanced diet is important, in late-stage dementia the priority should be making sure the person with dementia takes on nutrition, and a higher-calorie diet may be appropriate. A dietitian can advise on what is best in a particular situation.


Weight loss Weight loss is common in people with dementia, although the causes vary. They may include lack of appetite, difficulties cooking, problems with communicating or recognising hunger, poor co-ordination, tiring more easily, and difficulties with chewing and swallowing. If the person is losing weight, the GP can refer them to a dietitian.

Common problems
Poor appetite, cognitive impairment, physical disabilities and sensory disabilities (hearing and sight loss) can cause the person with dementia to have problems eating and drinking. Although eating and drinking difficulties are fairly common…...

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