Challenges in managing the diet of older adults with early-stage Alzheimer dementia: A caregiver perspective
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Caregivers (CG) of older adults suffering from Alzheimer disease (AD) are confronted by many challenges when caring for their family member; these include dietary management. Objectives: To identify difficulties in dietary management encountered by CG taking part in the Nutrition Intervention Study (NIS), and to gather their opinions on the intervention. Design, Setting and Participants: Thirty-three CG of individuals with AD from the NIS intervention group were contacted. Individual interviews were conducted and analyzed using qualitative data analysis, and themes around challenges related to dietary practices experienced by CG were identified. Results: Twenty-four CG were interviewed; 58% were aged 70 and older and 58% were the patient’s spouse. Three major thematic categories emerged: 1. Dietary challenges and coping strategies used by CG; 2. CGs’ opinion about the NIS; 3. CG interest in participating in a nutrition education support service. Changes in food habits and increasing dependency on the CG were the major themes related to dietary challenges. Conclusion: A better understanding of the CG’s experience is essential for the development of nutrition interventions adapted to the needs of older adults with AD and their CG.
Key wordsCaregiver nutrition Alzheimer qualitative research
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