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Practical nutritional measures in patients with dementia

The management of nutrition in people with dementia is complex as it involves weight loss due to cognitive and physical problems caused by the condition. There is a range of practical approaches that the community nurse can implement, but these must be adjusted to suit each person. Often, a large proportion of the community nurse’s time is spent supporting carers, family and friends who are looking after a relative who has dementia at home. This can be a demanding role and carers often experience physical and emotional fatigue. For those working with patients with dementia in nursing, residential and care homes, it is particularly important that staff are supported with strong leadership to provide a flexible approach to meal times and that suitable menu options are available.