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Dementia patients who forget to eat 'should be allowed anything'

Dementia patients who forget to eat 'should be allowed anything'
29th March 2011

While a good diet is vital for dementia patients, the issue of them forgetting to eat necessitates them getting whatever food they desire, according to a leading expert in the illness.

Professor June Andrews, the director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, said that many people simply lose their appetite and in these cases, "they should have anything they fancy".

She continued: "It is very important not to get dehydrated. At times it is hard for a very old frail person to eat large quantities, so you can increase the value of what they do eat."

However, when the chance arises to give them something more beneficial, Professor Andrews promoted the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as helpful for people with dementia. Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as oily fish and olive oil, follow the idea that "what is good for your heart is good for your head"

In recent developments in the world of dementia, Southampton University scientist Dr Amritpal Mudher recently reported that healthy nerve cells produce tau but in Alzheimer's disease, an abnormal form of tau is created that does not function correctly. 

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.