Nutrition Education Needs and Resources for Dementia Care in the Community
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Nutrition problems and specificly weight loss are common in older adults with dementia living in the community. Study 1 involved interviews with 14 formal providers to identify the range of nutrition concerns they had experienced. In study 2, 74 Canadian Alzheimer Society chapters were surveyed by e-mail (23% participation rate) to determine nutrition concerns and education resources provided to clients. In all, 26 of these nutrition pamphlets or handouts were rated on content and format by 2 independent researchers using a standardized rating system. Common nutrition concerns identified in older adults with dementia living in the community include safety, weight loss, forgetting or refusing to eat, appetite, dysphagia, and unfavorable eating behaviors. Most resources provided to clients were considered low quality and did not match the nutrition concerns expressed by formal providers. Currently, there is a considerable knowledge translation gap around nutrition and dementia, and this study provides a basis for the future development of nutrition education resources.
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