Nutritional challenges for the family caregiver and person with dementia dyad

Beattie, E., McCrow, J., Dyce, C., Fielding, E., & Isenring, E. (2014) Nutritional challenges for the family caregiver and person with dementia dyad. Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice, 3(1), pp. 41-46.

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Background: The majority of people with dementia live at home until quite late in the disease trajectory, supported by family caregivers who typically take increasing responsibility for providing nutrition. Caregiving is highly stressful and thus both dyad partners are at risk of nutritional issues.

Objective: This study evaluated the nutritional status of both dyad members and the associations between these. Design Descriptive, correlational Setting Community Participants 26 dyads of persons with dementia and caregivers

Measurements: The nutritional status of each dyad member was evaluated at home using a comprehensive battery of measures including the Mini-Nutritional Assessment, Corrected Arm Muscle Area and a 3-day food diary. Stage of dementia and functional eating capacity was measured for the person with dementia. Caregivers completed a brief burden scale.

Results: Of those with dementia (n = 26), a large proportion had nutritional issues (one was malnourished and another 16 were at risk). Six of the caregivers were at risk of malnutrition. In addition, fifteen of the people with dementia did not meet their recommended daily energy requirements. A moderate and significant positive correlation between functional eating skills and nutritional status (MNA score) among participants with dementia was found (r =.523, n = 26, p.006).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that a dyadic perspective of nutritional status provides important insights into risk in this vulnerable group. Specifically, monitoring of the functional eating independence skills of the person with dementia is critical, along with assisting caregivers to be aware of their own eating patterns and intake.

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ID Code: 79959
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: dementia, nutritional status, caregiver, community, malnutrition
ISSN: 2258-8094
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Aged Care Nursing (111001)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2012 - JARCP The Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2015 04:19
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2016 10:12

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