Study: Two training methods help dementia patients relearn eating skills

An international team of researchers has developed two step-by-step training programs designed to improve the eating skills of patients with dementia, according to a new report.

The two methods significantly improved patients’ nutritional assessment scores, and reduced their “difficulty feeding” scores during clinical trials, according to the Taiwanese study. One method, Spaced Retrieval (SR) training, helps dementia patients learn and retain information by having patents recall that information repeatedly over increasing lengths of time. This training improve self-feeding. The other method uses a Montessori-style approach to help dementia patients relearn hand-eye coordination skills related to eating, such as scooping, pouring and squeezing.

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Choosing to learn slows Alzheimer’s

WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 14 (UPI) — Attending lectures, reading, doing word games and working mental puzzles may help slow Alzheimer’s disease, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Brandeis University
, in Waltham, Mass., say doing these activities may provide the protection from memory decline and dementia associated with having a college degree.

“The lifelong benefits of higher education for memory in later life are quite impressive, but we do not clearly understand how and why these effects last so long,” lead author Margie Lachman said in a statement.

“Among individuals with low education, those who engaged in reading, writing, attending lectures, doing word games or puzzles once or week or more had memory scores similar to people with more education.”