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Dining

November—December   2010

Personal Choice in Dining

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 a long–term care setting,

  • Are we bringing people to eat in a room where they may not feel comfortable?
  • Are we feeding people who are not hungry?
  • Are we awakening residents for meal time?
  • Are we removing food choices?

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.

Please see following links for valuable and inspirational solutions on maintaining person–centered care in the dining experience.


RELATED ARTICLES:

Examining the Institutional Dining Experience
Over time the nursing home dining experience has become institutionalized, and in many instances dining is not a pleasurable experience for residents.

Transforming the Institutional Dining Experience
Learn more about transforming the institutional nursing home dining experience

Dignified Dining Tools and Resources
Links to the CMS Guidelines and Surveyor Procedures and Investigative Protocols that relate to some aspect of the food and dining experience

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