Dementia

02 November 2007

Care level required

Different symptoms may emerge at different times, but changes will occur throughout the disease process that will affect both the patient and the caregiver.

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Alzheimer's disease generally follows a progression through mild, moderate and severe stages. Different symptoms may emerge at different times, but changes will occur that will affect both the patient and the caregiver.

Stage 1:
Care level required: Minimal attention in the form of:

  • Reminding the person with Alzheimer’s disease to eat.
  • Preparing well-balanced meals on a schedule.
  • Keeping healthy snacks available.
  • Avoiding dishes with busy patterns and too much flatware.
  • Serving meals in a quiet, uncluttered place.
  • Participating in meal delivery programmes.

Stage 2: Moderate
Care level required: Close supervision in the form of:

  • Limiting the number of food choices at one time.
  • Cutting up food so that it’s easy to eat.
  • Gently encouraging proper chewing and swallowing.
  • Preparing and providing finger foods.
  • Switching to drinking straws or a convalescent feeding cup to make drinking liquids easier.
  • Checking the temperature of foods and beverages prior to serving the patient.
  • Encouraging healthy snacking.
  • Ensuring proper hydration by providing liquids frequently.
  • Supplementing the diet with liquid food supplements if recommended.

For more information visit: Dementia SA: http://www.dementiasa.org/ or Alzheimer’s South Africa: http://www.alzheimers.org.za/

 

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