Dining is a major enjoyment of living for us all. And for persons with dementia, the dining experience can be a strong driving theme for maintaining a person–centered environment. For persons with dementia the environment should be neither over stimulating nor under stimulating. This fact also applies to the dining room.
In maintaining personhood, these are tough questions that health care professionals need to answer. When considering dining for persons with dementia, we also need to consider our language. Staff often refer to these residents as “feeders,” and in many institutional settings, there is a “feeder” list.
I propose how encouraging and personal it would be to actually use the person’s name, “I will assist Florence with dining.” It used to be that person–centred care was a “nice want–to–have” for institutional settings. Today, it is a “must–have.” Let us begin this journey with the dining experience.