Nutrition Care for Residents with Dementia in Long-Term Care Homes: Umbrella Review of Care Aide and Registered Dietitian Services
- long-term care, dementia, nutrition care, umbrella review.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Recent attention has highlighted the distinct food and nutrition needs of residents with dementia living in long-term care (nursing homes). Nutrition care involves assessment of nutritional need, along with providing safe and appropriate food that fulfills nutritional requirements. Within long-term care, much of the direct care responsibilities lies with care aides who provide the day-to-day assistance including at mealtimes; however, it is the registered dietitian (RD) who provides specialized nutrition care. We sought to examine how roles and responsibilities of care aides and dietitians were described in long-term care settings. As many systematic reviews addressing nutrition care in dementia have appeared in the past two decades, we examined these using an Umbrella Review protocol. Ten papers were retrieved which examined nutrition services for dementia residents. These were diverse in nature. While all addressed some aspect of nutrition and the need for appropriate staffing, only three noted and discussed care aides and only three either noted or made recommendations for involvement of dietitians. Thus, the lack of attention to RDs and care aides represents a true gap that must be addressed in order for recommendations to enhance nutrition care for residents with dementia to be effective.
Funding statement: This work was supported by scholarship awards to A.C. from Alzheimer Society of Canada Quality of Life Doctoral Fellowship, a Public Health and the Rural Agricultural Ecosystem (PHARE) graduate trainee fellowship, CIHR-STIHR, University of Saskatchewan.
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