When I visited Jan yesterday she was being fed lunch. The person who was with her informed me that as of that day, she had been moved from a normal diet, to one which is soft food, because she has started having problems chewing and swallowing anything with lumps. This is a moment we have put off for as long as possible. When Jan went into the home in 2001, the manager explained that they try to keep people eating normally for as long as possible since. When food is made softer, the digestive system learns it needs to do less work, and the patient becomes reliant on soft food after that. There is little going back. From observing, there seem to be several stages to soft food. Yesterday, Jan had minced lamb, mashed potatoes, and some soft green vegetables. It smelled great and she clearly was enjoying it. Afterwards, trifle. Other patients have the same, only all has been run through a liquidiser, so it is very soft indeed. Other patients simply have specially formulated drink-based foods. Just progression, I guess. There was a quiet, nicely dressed man on the table nearby, eating his lunch. He tried to use the spoon provided, but his failing spatial awareness would not enable him to find the dish and load the spoon. He took the practical route and simply used his fingers. Messy, but effective! I should say that the staff try to let residents eat whatever way they can, unaided, for as long as possible. All too often, dementia patients feel that things are being taken from them [faculties, money, friends], so this is, I believe, a sensible way to go. Challenging behaviour often comes into these things. After eating a bowl of trifle with his fingers the man looked as if he had been in the custart pie throwing scene from "The Great Race". When staff wanted to try to help him clean his hands, he became very agitated - and would have become violent except the staff talked to him kindly for five minutes, then he was okay with it. The staff at Jan's home are very caring. One said to me yesterday "I think Jan is putting on some weight, on her upper body" I replied that the change since 2001 has been dramatic, from the pictures I have taken. She then asked if I could bring the pictures in, because they seldom can see the beneficial effects of the care they give in a clear form. I'll do that for them. They are family now!