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Therapeutic meals

What are therapeutic meals and who are they for? 

Therapeutic meals - definition

Eating is both a basic, physical need and a way of communicating and interacting (with the environment and people around us). For any subject, eating is a meaningful act.
Therapeutic meals are a way for therapists and caregivers to eat with patients in order to use this moment of daily life, to allow the patient to re-appropriate his way of interacting with his environment, but also with himself. It is a form of accompaniment that is based on the moment of the meal, during which the nursing staff uses the food and the table as therapeutic support. 

Principles and objectives of therapeutic meals

The therapeutic meal covers a wide range of practices, with numerous objectives.  The primary interest of this type of accompaniment is to ensure a pleasant and regular diet for patients with psychiatric illnesses or disorders.  It also allows the patient to work on his autonomy and to prevent dependency (especially for elderly patients). The therapeutic meal also makes it possible to maintain regular social interaction, based on the link between the patient and the nursing staff. 

Therapeutic meals - indications and target audience

Therapeutic meals are indicated for people with psychiatric disorders or illnesses that may affect their relationship with food. More broadly, this type of accompaniment can be recommended for all patients suffering from eating disorders or loss of autonomy.
This therapeutic approach is particularly indicated for the elderly and patients in loss of autonomy (especially those with Alzheimer’s disease).