Dining Practices for Residents with Dementia: A Study Sponsored by Sodexo Institute for Quality of Daily Life

by Published On: Oct 09, 2012

Researchers from the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research will spend 8 days this fall visiting 6 European nursing homes and assisted living communities that have taken steps to improve the dining experiences of residents with dementia. 

Sodexo Institute for Quality of Daily Life, a sponsor of the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA), is funding the project.

The research on dining practices for residents with dementia will yield a collection of best practices that LeadingAge and IAHSA members could adapt to their own organizations.  

Dining Practices: Site Visit Goals

LeadingAge researchers will visit facilities in Belgium, Italy and France. During each site visit, they will document how each organization implemented its dining program for residents with dementia. 

Researchers plan to conduct interviews with administrators, nursing and dietary staff, as well as residents’ family members. In addition, they will observe:

  • The dining experience of residents.
  • The design of the dining environment. This includes the dining room’s layout, acoustics, table settings, sensory stimulation and lighting.
  • The role that staff play during dining, including the amount of assistance staff members provide to residents and the extent to which they encourage residents to function independently. 
  • How the organization trains dietary and nursing staff to feed and assist residents and to deal with behavioral issues during meals. 
  • The role of nutrition in creating a positive dining experience.

Dissemination of Dining Practices Case Studies

The best practices that researchers identify will be included in a case study collection that IAHSA and the Center for Applied Research will release in Spring 2013.

The collection will detail each organization’s dining program for residents with dementia. It will also highlight themes and trends that are common to all the participating organizations.

LeadingAge and IAHSA will disseminate the case studies through their respective websites. In addition, findings will be shared at the 2013 IAHSA International conference in Shanghai. 

For more information about the study of dining practices for residents with dementia, contact Natasha Bryant, (202) 508-1214.

Sodexo Institute for Quality of Daily Life

"We strongly believe that the Institute for Improving Quality of Life contributes to the progress of individuals and to the performance of organizations," Michael Landel, chief executive officer of Soxdexo. 

The Institute for Quality of Daily Life is dedicated to the capture and exchange of knowledge, and experience, related to the improvement of quality of daily life. The aim of the Institute is to qualify, quantify, and measure, wherever possible, how services provided by Sodexo improve quality of daily life and consequently positively impacts the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. 


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