Meeting nutritional needs in the nursing homes

– The student will have knowledge of the most common forms of dementia and how diseases affect the ability for the patients and nurses to meet basic needs
– Students will reflect on nursing challenges and dilemmas during meal situations in nursing homes
Scenario:
A clear and sunny autumn day, it’s time for breakfast in the unit. The unit is occupied by six elderly people with varying degree and type dementia. Some also somatic and psychiatric problems in addition to dementia.
The unit is committed to creating a homely atmosphere where meals are important satisfaction factors. In addition, emphasis is placed on the patients’ opportunities to contribute their resources and meals are considered as an important activity in this context.
It is almost 9am and the 6 patients are gathering around the table for breakfast. There are usually only 2 workers on the unit, a head nurse (you) and an assistant. But right now there is also a nursing student in the unit, whom the head nurse is in charge of. As the head nurse, you are also responsible for dosing out medications to all the patients in your unit, as well as the unit next to you.
One of the patients has frontal lobe dementia, with repetitive speech, and can often be quite rude to others during mealtimes.
All of the patients have varying need for guidance and support during breakfast, although none of them need help eating (feed). The situation requires a good structure and planning so that the patients’ nutritional needs will be handled in a respectful and dignified manner.

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