Lifestyle

The way to enjoy a meal is more than what is on the plate.

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Meal is about sharing food and being together. credit: Shutterstock

Meal is a ritual built around joy and choice.I’ve recently received what is offered at meal times at Elderly Housing with Care caution Labor has promised to improve the diet served. New research emphasizes that how food is served is just as important.

is more than 50% of elderly caregivers live with dementiaAnd spend most of their day outside meal hours 1 person..Meals are a time for people to get together, social connections, celebrations, and Respect Personal taste and culture.

Still, staff shortages and inadequate time to help residents eat and drink, meal times are often highly structured, depersonalized, and focus on food intake rather than eating experience. Means that is correct.

In addition, current elderly care funding does not encourage food quality or meal time autonomy.

Innovating dietary care is needed to turn this around and give it. Elderly caregiver Regain their basic rights.one Proven This approach relies on Montessori principles traditionally used in the early childhood field.

Careful planning allows more freedom

Innovative thinking of Italian doctors and educators Maria Montessori More and more applied Dementia care— Introduced to the scene by a psychologist Cameron camp In the 1990s. Montessori’s approach respects the ability and taste of attracting people at their own pace and rhythm, regardless of age or gender.

Montessori’s method focuses on a carefully prepared environment and leverages the retained strengths of people with dementia. engagement And involvement in daily life.This helps people with dementia regain the following skills: Eat independently..

This approach has the potential to change people’s expectations of what people with dementia can do and promote community awareness.

Our study We investigated how the Montessori strategy changed the meal times of staff and residents in residential geriatric care facilities. We regularly filmed meal times. It started before the changes were made and ended when new practices were in place.

Routines, materials, and external support have been established to support memory loss and independence. For example, the sign encouraged residents to eat light meals, and the buffet encouraged residents to serve their own meals.

By extending the breakfast service period, residents were able to eat at their own pace, and by preparing additional meals, residents were given the opportunity to receive second or third assistance.

Staff at all levels of the organization were trained and trained in the Montessori approach. For example, the Montessori mantra “Everything you do for me, you rob me” was introduced to the staff, changing the way people think about empowerment and their own compassionate role.

Care staff were encouraged to involve residents in meal times and create meaningful roles such as setting up tables, refilling jugs, and creating daily menus.

What we saw

Our observational study evaluated meal time routines before and after the introduction of the Montessori care model, and the results were promising for all involved, including residents, families and staff. This can be seen by examining the experience of a resident called “Marjorie”.

Prior to Montessori, Marjorie’s diet was chosen by staff, and if she didn’t like that choice, there was no second choice. Marjorie entrees and desserts were put together on a bare table and there was no explanation of what they were. She didn’t choose who she was sitting with or what drink to serve with her meal. Marjorie silently ate her meal.

This is a familiar pattern, Previous researchIt was characterized by little social interaction between care staff and residents.

Since the introduction of the Montessori strategy, Marjorie chooses what and how much he wants from the labeled buffet. She eats at a table with beautifully set tablecloths, cutlery and seasonings. Marjorie can help herself to help her a second time if she likes her and she becomes sociable during the meal. Then she helps the staff by taking her dishes to the sink.

We watched the opportunity for choice increase significantly, as well as the social interaction between staff and residents. Dietary care has become more respected and people-centric.

Care transformation

To change public perceptions of dementia and show how more human care models are possible, we need to share examples of positive innovations in elderly care.

The Montessori approach is an innovative way to transform care and help older care staff rethink their role in helping people with dementia. Since meal times occur several times daily, improving the meal time experience can pave the way for human-centered care.

Cultural change It’s not easy and requires creative strategy and commitment. Care staff need quality training and ongoing support.

The elderly care department needs to focus more on the quality outcomes of residents and reward providers to enable them to be actively involved, connected and lead a good life.


Racial staff assumptions affect the variability of care for nursing home residents with progressive dementia


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The way to enjoy a meal is more than what is on the plate.

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