Dementia Care Essay

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The main purpose of this project is to analyse the nurses’ role in ensuring in ensuring that adequate nutrition is maintained in patients suffering from dementia in an inpatient setting. Dementia is a persistent disease of the brain affecting the ability of brain cells to communicate effectively leading to memory loss, difficulties in thinking, problem solving and language impairment (Ginesi L etal ,2016). According to Evans L and Best C (2015) in an article for the nursing times journal, inadequate food and fluid intake by older patients in acute settings is a growing problem. It is even more prevalent among older patients suffering from dementia (Evans L and Best C, 2015). A report by Champion asserts that dementia patients decline whilst …show more content…

Dementia is a growing disease costing the United Kingdom economy more than 26 Billion pounds per annum (Alzheimer Society, 2017). A state of the nation report on dementia in England and Scotland stated that dementia patients still endure poorer outcomes for admissions to acute settings (Department of health, 2013). The report notes that whilst most hospitals do a good job, some dementia patients are not receiving the person-centred nutritional care that they deserve (Department of health, …show more content…

Feeding my grandfather became complicated in the later stages of his illness. He found it difficult to remember how to chew and swallow which resulted in him losing a lot of weight. Tube feeding was not commonly used in Africa in 1990s when he was diagnosed. He became increasingly frail until he passed away at the age of seventy-three in 1993. He suffered from dementia for three and a half years. In the first year of my mental Health Nursing degree course, I was put in practice at an older adults’ community placement. This made aware of how widespread and serious Dementia is. It was challenging as patients with early signs of dementia have lost their memory and were forgetting that they had to eat. There was a woman with dementia who forgot the meaning of food and saw food as plastercine. She also saw soap as food and kept putting in her mouth. It was problematic trying to keep her still in order to feed her as she kept smearing the food on her face. This stirred my interest in studying the problems associated with dementia especially feeding. Newspaper reports abound of staff overlooking to give elderly dementia patients adequate food and water (Guardian, 2016). A report in the Guardian newspaper stated that staff do not know how to deal with patients with dementia who may be aggressive and disruptive and they end up just ignoring or omitting to feed them (Guardian,

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