Weight loss in advanced dementia – new resource from Australia

There are many reasons why people with advanced demtentia might lose weight.  This new information booklet for family caregivers from Palliative Care Australia discusses several reasons and offers ideas on how to support the individual.

Involuntary weight loss of more than 5% of the body weight is called “cachexia”. Cachexia is common with people with advanced progressive illnesses including dementia.

For health care workers and professionals this is a useful tool to read, understand and share.  For lay caregivers it is an excellent resource to increase understanding, promote dialogue with family/loved ones, and to assist in decision making regarding interventions.

Decreasing intake and/or involuntary weight loss are so very difficult for family and loved ones to witness.  The more prepared we are to provide support, information, and resources, the better able we will be to support the dying AND their loved ones.

Quilt by Deidre Scherer - click to see Deidre's incredible art, including series titled "The Last Year" and "Surrounded by Family". (Deidre lives in Vermont)



Spending a day to talk about "Food – the four letter word in end of life care"

“Food, the Four Letter Word in End of Life Care”

Join us in Nanaimo for a day with the Dieticians.

At the end of the session you will

  • Understand why people experience anorexia and cachexia with advanced disease
  • Learns strategies for talking with families about decreasing appetite and approaching death.
  • Examine the role of the Dietician in supporting the team as death nears.

Sept 29th. Nanaimo BC

Request more information about this workshop.

Food the Four Letter Word in End of Life Care – presentation at Tigh Na Mara Resort October 29 2011

I am looking forward to meeting with the Vancouver Island Hospice Societies on Saturday at Tigh Na Mara resort in Parksville.

Attached is the handout for those who are attending the session titled “Food the Four Letter Word in End of Life Care”.  We will discuss anorexia and cachexia, current research, and resources for sharing this information with patients and family.

For the PPT presentation, go to Slide Share – http://www.slideshare.net/LifeAndDeathMatters/presentations

For the article, “Anorexia and Cachexia” in the CLPNA CARE Magazine http://www.clpna.com/Resources/CAREMagazine/tabid/182/Default.aspx Once there, go to Summer 2011 (Vol 25 Issue 2) page 29-30.

Are these resources helpful to you? If so, how will you use them?