Dementia sufferers 'would benefit from a healthy diet'

A healthy diet is imperative for dementia sufferers, it has been claimed.

Karen Morrison, Head of Service Design for Residential Care Services at Care UK, noted balanced food consumption is especially important for this group of people as it can help prevent other health problems.

The expert observed that dementia sufferers who eat too little or miss out on essential nutrients may find their resistance to illness decreases as a result, while they might also become bewildered as to why their practices have changed.

"A good intake of fluids is also essential, as being well-hydrated can assist in the reduction of some of the symptoms such as agitation, confusion and restlessness," she explained.

Her comments come after Care UK attempted to improve the service it provides to dementia sufferers by training its staff in a way that helped them to understand what it is like to have the condition.

Methods included using implements that blurred vision and restricted finger movements.

Dr Michael Green, a member of the British Psychological Society, said: "There is a growing body of evidence that nutritional supplementation can aid brain function in older adults."

"Studies have shown that glucose administration can aid memory function in dementia sufferers and that there is good evidence that a number of essential nutrients such as B-complex vitamins are linked to cognitive function."

"The problem may not lie directly with inadequate dietary intake of these nutrients, but with poor absorption from the gut."