Supporting Eating and Drinking – Resource for Carers

Eating and Drinking Guidance for Carers

This booklet has been designed for all who support someone living with the later stages of dementia. It has been developed by a leading team of researchers and health & social care professionals including GP’s, speech & language therapists and palliative care experts. It has also taken into consideration the views and experiences of people with dementia. 

As dementia (and diseases like multiple sclerosis) advance, it is typical for people to experience difficulties around eating, drinking and swallowing. This booklet explains the physical and psychological reasons for these issues and offers a comprehensive series of strategies and resources to support carers & guide their discussions with key health professionals.  

With helpful tips on nutrition, how to offer food/drink and when to seek help, it also includes topics ranging from oral health to end of life hydration. An invaluable resource that has clearly been developed with considerable input from a leading team of experts in the field. 

Click here to download

Does colour make a difference?

There has been a lot of evidence collected about the benefits of using coloured crockery for people with dementia. What is less clear is whether it is merely a question of improving the contrast between a plate and its background so that it is easier to see, or whether particular colours actually provide stimulation to eat. Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), for example, are now using coloured crockery on all their wards, to ‘help improve the nutrition of patients with dementia’.

NUH and Salisbury District Hospital have chosen to use blue, and Cumbria recommend using either a border or entirely blue crockery. The reasoning behind blue is that there is no blue food so you are always guaranteed a contrast. Whilst the King’s Fund Environment Assessment Tool  emphasises the relevance of contrast in general, others have had particular success with red. Read about Amber Lodge’s introduction of red crockery in 2011, courtesy of Care Industry News, and here is news of another  person’s spectacular results with red crockery, courtesy of Torbay Dementia Action Alliance.

Further information:

How contrasting colour can help people with dementia, courtesy of Alzheimer’s Society

The importance of colour and contrast, courtesy of The Dementia Centre, Stirling

Suppliers of virtually unbreakable coloured tableware: Harfield