Eating Together

A-HA Team LeadKeller, H ( Principal Investigator) PartnersDupuis, S (Co-l Investigator)
Schindel Martin, L (Co-l Investigator)
Project Date2005 – 2011

Nutrition and eating are important factors for individuals living with dementia, and affect their quality of life and overall health. People living with dementia in the community are often at risk for poor food intake and weight loss, and are frequently admitted to long-term care homes in undernourished states. They are also more likely to have eating challenges that affect their food intake (e.g. self-feeding difficulties, eating non-foods, and confusion with utensils). This in turn often creates stress and burden for caregivers. Additionally, there is the potential that these eating changes can influence family relationships and their traditions.

“Eating Together” was a series of research projects conducted in partnership with several local Alzheimer Chapters in South Central Ontario. This longitudinal study was designed to: (1) examine the experience and meaning of food and mealtimes for persons living with dementia and their partners in care; and (2) understand how the experiences and meanings of food and mealtimes change over time for persons living with dementia and their partners in care.

A number of fact sheets on eating and meal times in the dementia context have been created as part of this project. Online versions are available on the A-HA website.

This project was a collaborative effort with the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), and was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.