To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommended that the residents eat in their rooms. This was a problem for one of my units with a large dementia population. One resident was so distraught that she couldn’t go out of her room that she threw her food on the floor and also did end up presenting with weight loss. Others were simply not doing well with being out of their routine. Many needed constant cueing, but staffing was an issue. The team met and it was decided that the residents needing assist or cueing would have someone designated to be their assistant for each meal. Upon completing meal rounds, I found that the residents are now being assisted with their meal in a timely manner and we are getting a lot of good feedback on individual preferences. So, just a reminder to all, if you have a dementia population, make an effort to ensure that they are being fed in a timely manner when any situation arises that changes their established routine.
Dementia Mealtime Assessment Tool
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