Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Date Information

May 2014

Department

School of Nursing

First Advisor

Marion Frost

Abstract

Dementia is a progressive psychological disorder in the elderly population that leads to cognitive impairment and can have an impact on many areas of their life, especially nutrition. It is very common to see hospitalized dementia patients not receiving proper nutrition because they are unable to feed themselves, and often are not provided with the help they need. Nutrition is often a topic that is overlooked in the hospital setting because of the narrow focus on the patient’s diagnosis that caused their admission. Dementia is also a disease that may not be diagnosed until it has progressed to later stages, with the person suffering for many years before interventions take place. This is a very important issue in nursing because malnutrition can lead to further illness and a delay of healing in the elderly, leading to prolonged hospital stays, readmissions, and reoccurring health problems in these patients. This thesis will be a review of medical and nursing journals that look at the impact of dementia on proper nutrition in the hospitalized patients and the different nursing interventions that are used to improve nutrition in these patients. I will also make suggestions for changes in these nursing interventions to improve their effectiveness. A review of the epidemiology of dementia and nutrition requirements of the elderly person will also be included in this thesis.