Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Dementia is not just about memory loss, it can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave. There are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia and this number is increasing as people are starting to live longer, it is estimated that by 2025, the number of people living with dementia in the UK will have increased to around one million.
Whilst the reasons for weight loss and undernutrition in dementia are complex and not completely understood, reduced appetite, increased activity and changes in eating behaviours can all contribute to an individual’s poor nutritional intake. The consequences of this can lead to greater functional impairment and dependence, hospitalisation and higher risk of falls, pressure ulcers and infection.
Ensuring that the nutritional needs of people with dementia are met can be a challenge and many factors need to be considered including training and education, the mealtime environment, the use of nutritional supplements and the provision of assistance to eat.
Healthcare caterers have a key role in helping to reduce the risk of weight loss for people with dementia by providing a variety of different types of snacks and meals throughout the day to stimulate and motivate people to eat.
- With the eating environment having an incremental effect on a dementia patient it is important for caterers to think of ways in which to enhance this. Retro adverts are a great way of doing so, put them up where patients will be eating, try and get hold of retro tins that patients can hold as well as see. These will get patients talking about fond memories of food which could in turn lead to other discussions
- Use strong and familiar flavours in dishes, food is a great way of causing nostalgia and our portfolio of products is ideal for this, having been around for many years and having become such well-known and trusted brands that patients will recognise and love as soon as they taste them
- Presentation is important, we eat with our eyes and as loss of appetite is a key part of dementia, making food look appealing in the first instance is vital, use interesting layouts on plates as well as food of distinctive colours or shapes
- Those who tend to be more active but have a lack of concentration as a result of dementia require grab and go, snack style foods that they can consume throughout the day. Finger food recipes are ideal for this; we’ve included our Paxo Crustless Quiche recipe below to provide you with some inspiration.
Paxo Crustless Quiche
This recipe works really well in a hospital environment as is provides caterers with a practical solution that is easy to make, quick to bake and easy to serve. As the quiche is crustless, it will reduce time as the pastry does not need to be blind-baked beforehand. It can be served hot or cold and is extremely versatile, lending itself to a number of flavour and texture combinations to add variety to your menu.
- 20ml Vegetable oil
- 2 Red peppers
- 300g Onion, chopped
- 100g Broccoli
- 250g Canned chopped tomatoes, drained
- 75g Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing
- 10 Eggs, beaten
- 200g Mature cheddar
- Season to taste
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C
- Fry the peppers and onions in the oil until tender. Blanch the broccoli, drain and refresh
- Mix the drained tomatoes and stuffing together, add the vegetables and the eggs and half the cheese and combine
- Place in a lined or non-stick half gastronorm tray, top with the rest of the cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes
- Cut into cubes or slices, depending on the client needs or service area
Hints & Tips:
This is a vegetarian recipe but why not try swapping the peppers and broccoli for 300g chopped lean smoked bacon