Learning Demo - Eating With a Fork


In this preview you will meet Sarah, who is a person with Alzheimer's disease. Sarah and her daughter are beginning to eat lunch together, and Sarah's daughter is concerned that her mother is choosing to eat her soup with a fork. This is a common mealtime challenge. This learning demonstration provides the participant "how to" solutions for combating and understanding this caregiving dilemma. From the engaging study video, the viewing participant will learn how changes in the brain due to Alzheimer's disease cause Sarah to have difficulty with eating. The functional ability to feed oneself is a behavior we learn in our very early years and that becomes automatic over time. It requires connecting what to do with how to do it. However, persons with dementia gradually lose nerve pathways that connect the part of the brain that generates what to do with the part of the brain that initiates how the action is done. The inability to carry out the actions needed to feed oneself is called "feeding apraxia". Apraxia is the inability to carry out learned, automatic behaviors such as dressing, walking and eating. One of the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the gradual loss of these functional abilities.

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