News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Under nutrition is a major problem for people with dementia

11 February 2014

Report shows under nutrition is a major problem for people with dementia

A new report released today reveals that under nutrition is a major problem among people with dementia, and highlights the importance of nutrition in dementia care. Under nutrition can occur when food intake is inadequate to maintain general health.

Research reviewed in the international report finds that 20-45 percent of people in the community with dementia experience weight loss that could affect their general health, over a one year period. It also shows that up to half of people with dementia in care homes have an inadequate food intake.

The report titled ‘Nutrition and dementia: a review of existing research’ reviews existing international research into nutrition and dementia, and was commissioned by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and global catering company Compass Group. The research was led by Professor Martin Prince from the King’s College London Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care.

Alzheimers New Zealand has welcomed the new report, and says nutrition must be a key consideration in the care of people with dementia, whether they are living at home, or in a residential care facility.

“Quality nutrition is a significant challenge for people with dementia, and weight loss is very common. Dementia can affect their ability to feed themselves, to recognise their hunger levels and to understand the importance of adequate food and fluid intake,” says Alzheimers NZ Executive Director Catherine Hall.

“Under nutrition has a significant impact on the general health of a person with dementia and can worsen aspects of their condition such as confusion.

“Just like anyone else, every person with dementia is likely to have different likes and dislikes, and this is particularly true when it comes to food,” she says. “Every person will also have different needs, which could include anything from assistance with cooking and grocery shopping, to physical assistance with consuming their food.”

Alzheimers NZ says that with the numbers of people with dementia set to triple to 150,000 by 2050, it is essential that the quality of care for people with dementia continues to improve.

“The World Alzheimer Report 2013 revealed that by 2050 nearly half of all dependent older people likely to be living with dementia,” Ms Hall says.

“This means that we as a country have to lift our game in order to meet the specific needs of older people with dementia both now and into the future.”

The ADI report makes a series of recommendations to improve the nutrition of people with dementia. These include:

• The adoption of nutritional standards of care for people with dementia throughout the health and social care sectors. These could include regular monitoring of weight, as well as assessments of diet and feeding behaviours, and the need for feeding assistance.
• Training and support for family and professional carers so they understand and are able to meet the challenges involved in maintaining adequate nutrition for people with dementia.
• More information should be available for consumers about the risks and benefits of using supplements claimed to protect cognition in late life, before or after a dementia diagnosis.
• More research should be conducted into the components of a diet that might prevent dementia and the progression of mild cognitive impairment.

About Alzheimers NZ
Alzheimers NZ is a not-for-profit organisation focused on supporting all people affected by dementia. Our Wellington-based national operation supports a federation of 21 local Alzheimers NZ organisations throughout New Zealand, each of which is a member of Alzheimers NZ.

We represent people with dementia, their home-based carers, families/ whānau and friends by providing awareness raising, advocacy, information services and resources to and for the public generally, the Government, and health professionals and service providers in the dementia sector / community. We also provide information services and support for our member organisations.

Local Alzheimers organisations provide support, education, information and related services directly to members of their communities who are affected by dementia.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news