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Resources to support nutrition in people with dementia

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People with dementia have complex nutritional need People with dementia have complex nutritional needs

Researchers at the University of Bournemouth have created resources to support nurses and other healthcare professionals as part of a project to improve nutrition in people with dementia.

A workshop on dignity and nutrition in dementia for nurses, managers and other staff responsible for leading change in the care home environment is being run on May 12 in Dorchester.

Eating and drinking becomes increasingly difficult as the disease develops, which puts people with dementia at increased risk of severe malnutrition and weight loss. The resources were created to train nurses and other frontline staff on the most effective ways to prevent people with dementia.

Dr Jane Murphy, associate professor at Bournemouth University, said 'Making sure that people with dementia receive appropriate food and nutrition is a vital part of delivering dignity in care. There is a real risk of people developing malnutrition or extreme weight loss.'

The resources are being trialled in care homes in Bournemouth until December 2015. Initial feedback from the trials has shown that the resources are effective in combatting malnutrition. A participant in the trial said: 'It showed the need to be innovative and flexible with meals due to the varying activity levels at different times of the residents over a 24 hour period.'

The researchers intend to expand the resources nationwide when the piloting ends.

Dr Murphy added: 'Our research is designed to equip frontline staff with the skills and knowledge they need to improve nutrition in people with dementia, whether they are living in care homes or in their own homes.'

The University worked in conjunction with Poole Borough Council and local care homes to create the resources, which were funded by the Burdett Trust.

To register interest in the workshop next week, email: picare@bpc.ac.uk

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