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“Practical Approach to Nutritional Problems of Alzheimer’s Patients” . Presented by: Ms. Dalia Kassas (Nutritionist) . Overview of Malnutrition .

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practical approach to nutritional problems of alzheimer s patients

“Practical Approach to Nutritional Problems of Alzheimer’s Patients”

Presented by:

Ms. Dalia Kassas


overview of malnutrition
Overview of Malnutrition
  • Malnutrition is the major concern of Alzheimer’s patients’ health problems. Regular, nutritious meals may become a challenge for people with dementia.
  • As a person's cognitive function declines, he or she may become overwhelmed with too many food choices, have a diminished sense of hunger and thirst, problems in eating or swallowing, forgetting to eat ,or problems in the ability of using utensils.
causes of poor nutrition in alzheimer s patients
Causes of Poor Nutrition in Alzheimer’s Patients
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor appetite/ refusal of eating
  • Chewing problems
  • Swallowing problems
dry mouth
Dry Mouth
  • In case of a dry mouth:
  • ↑ patient’s water and fluids intake
  • Give fluids after each bite
  • Add broth and sauces to make food softer
  • Give them sour candies to increase saliva and to moisten the mouth
poor appetite refusal of food
Poor Appetite/ Refusal of Food
  • Take a break and then return to eating
  • Serve several small meals instead of large ones
  • Don’t serve extremely hot food
  • Serve snacks between meals
  • Serve finger foods
  • Sometimes it helps to add some sugar to the food if they are healthy.
chewing problems
Chewing Problems
  • Offer to the patient pureed food
  • Offer them puddings like : mouhallabiyyeh …
  • Offer them soups, stews…
swallowing problems
Swallowing Problems

Incase of swallowing problems the patient needs to be fed by “tube feeding”:

  • NG tube: it’s used for a short period of time ( up to 3-4 weeks). The tube passes through the nose into the stomach.

It can causes erosion of the nose, esophageal perforation, pulmonary aspiration.

swallowing problems1
Swallowing Problems
  • PEG tube: Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy, it’s done under local Anesthesia, it’s used for a long period of time.

It’s more practical, less painful for the patient.

  • Dehydration is the most common complication of home tube feeding, so don’t forget to flush the tube with water at every feeding.
nutrition concerns of alzheimer s patients
Nutrition concerns of Alzheimer’s patients
  • Common nutrition problems are poor protein status, anemias, dehydration, and weight loss. laboratory assessment of nutritional status should be checked.


  • Total protein, albumin are low → poor protein status
  • Hemoglobin, hematocrit are low → nutritional anemia
  • Sodium, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and albumin are higher than usual → Dehydration
nutritional tips for alzheimer s patients
Nutritional tips for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods
  • Limit food with high saturated fats and cholesterol.
  • Limit foods with high sodium
  • Drink enough water and fluids
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Good nutrition is very important in Alzheimer's patients because malnutrition and dehydration may lead to:

  • Increased risk to infections
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Impaired respiratory function
  • Muscle weakness and depression