Friday, July 3, 2009

Picture menu cards improve quality of life in people with dementia

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals, did you know that picture menu cards improve quality of life in people with dementia. Here is an interesting article in
Nursing Times

by Claire Lomas

Providing older people with visual aids at mealtimes can significantly improve the quality of life of people with dementia, suggests an initiative at a specialist day centre in Manchester.

The picture menu cards were introduced two years ago at Wilshaw House, Ashton under Lyne, after staff at the centre became aware that the older people with dementia who used the centre appeared uninterested in food or eating.

Staff also noticed that people were leaving the table without finishing their meals, and would rather sleep than participate in afternoon activities.

Previously, the day’s menu choices were written on a board, and staff also asked people at the beginning of the day what they would like for lunch.

The problem with this method was that people with dementia can lose the ability to think for themselves, and will often say the same thing as the person next to them, said nurse Les Clarke, director of older people’s services at Housing 21, the not-for-profit organisation that runs the centre.

‘A lot of people coming to the centre had a low BMI and were malnourished. This can be a big issue for people with dementia because it can compound existing problems, such as skin or bowel problems,’ Mr Clarke told Nursing Times.

‘People with dementia also get distracted easily and can’t concentrate or remember what they are doing. They also have problems with language and the ability to articulate what they want,’ he added.

As well as restoring the centre users’ interest in food and helping to stimulate their desire to eat, the initiative has seen all of Picture menu cards improve quality of life in people with dementia

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia articles and activities

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