Dementia patients get new menu at Poole Hospital
AN initiative to help dementia patients make more of their meals is being rolled out across Poole Hospital this month.
Dietitians and ward staff worked with the hospital catering team to create a finger food menu, which will help patients with dementia – who can have trouble eating more traditional prepared meals – enjoy a balanced diet.
The new menu features bite-sized portions of nutritionally balanced foods, such as mini pasties, mini fishcakes, mini meatballs, toastie fingers and vegetable sticks, and allows patients to nibble as required throughout the day.
Debbie Reeves, nutrition nurse specialist at Poole Hospital, said: "We know that patients with dementia can have issues focusing for long periods of time and sometimes struggle with cutlery due to the loss of vital coordination skills.
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"We also know that patients need the right nutrients to recover quickly, so designing a menu to fit individual patients' needs mean they are more likely to maintain a balanced diet and finish what they've been given."
Kevin Bailey, catering services manager, said: "The menu enables our patients to feed themselves – this helps to maintain their independence and boosts their self-esteem and confidence at meal times."
Patients who have tried the new menu commented that the choice was good, that they ate more than normal and that they enjoyed the food and looked forward to having it again the next day.