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Blue plates and cups to help dementia patients

15 August 2017

Health Care

What colour plates do you use? Colour choice is down to personal preference, but Medirest, Southend Hospital’s catering supplier, has introduced blue plates and cups across the frailty wards of the hospital, Princess Anne and Windsor wards.

Some people living with dementia experience difficulties with sight and perception, and as a result, fail to distinguish between their food and crockery.

Research shows that the use of a bright, contrasting colour plate helps people see their food more easily and may improve their food intake.

Claire Buckell, Clinical Development Nurse for Medicine, said: "Many patients found the existing cups heavy to hold and spilt some of their drink or needed assistance from nursing staff to hold it because the handle was narrow, so they put all the weight onto one finger.

"With their double wide handles the new mugs promote independence whilst looking smart and so the patients love them. We purposely chose the mugs in blue so they were suitable for all patients including those with dementia."

Ramune Jackauskien, Medirest's Patients Dining Manager working at the Trust explained: "Many patients in hospitals may have dementia so the introduction of blue coloured plates is essential in helping these patients to eat during mealtimes. Eating and drinking can become an issue for people with dementia, and this can lead to severe weight loss and dehydration."

Maxine Cartz, Dietitian at Medirest, said: "People with dementia often find it difficult to meet their nutritional needs. Our blue plate range will provide further support to these patients by helping them to distinguish between the coloured plate and food."

ENDS

Image l-r:Barbara King, Hostess, Nicky Kitchener, EFM Contracts Manager, Ramune Jackauskien, Patients Dining Manager and Claire Buckell, Clinical Development Nurse for Medicine.