[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 11, June 2012].
This article discusses the role of the dietitian in an acute hospital working with dementia patients. It outlines various causes of the common dietary problems experienced by dementia patients and suggests some strategies for overcoming these difficulties.
A case-study about a patient with Down’s dementia suffering from dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia is used to highlight the need for individualised treatment planning. It offers an insight into a new model of dementia care in general hospitals developed by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust (RWHT), sponsored by NHS West Midlands and supported by the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies. The potential of gastrostomy feeding in some dementia patients is explored as a means of working towards successful hospital discharge.
The article concludes with considerations for dietitians working with dementia patients in an acute hospital.
Merrick, S. Leung, D. (2012). Nutritional care of patients with dementia in the acute setting. Complete Nutrition, May 2012, Vol.12(2), pp.12-14.