Colourful plates help dementia sufferers eat

Yellow plates encourage dementia sufferers to eat bigger portions. Photo / Getty
Yellow plates encourage dementia sufferers to eat bigger portions. Photo / Getty

Dementia sufferers are being given their meals on yellow plates to encourage them to eat bigger portions.

A trial found using the brightly coloured crockery made patients more likely to finish their food and put on weight. Experts said this will boost nutrition rates among those with dementia, many of whom are elderly and frail.

Research has shown patients diagnosed with the disease experience difficulties with sight and perception and may fail to properly recognise food on white plates.

But contrasting colours, such as a yellow plate on a white tablecloth, help sufferers to distinguish between the objects.

A successful pilot scheme at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria, UK, encouraged patients to eat ten extra grams of their meal when served on the brightly coloured plates compared with plain alternatives.

Dementia sufferers often forget to eat and drink, which can increase delirium and lead to rapid weight loss.

Dianne Smith, matron at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: "People with dementia often experience visual problems, including not being able to distinguish between different colours... If the crockery is a similar colour to the food then a person with dementia may not be able to recognise the food that is there to be eaten."

- Daily Mail

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