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Caregiving: Helping Someone With Eating

Table of Contents

Topic Overview

A person who is getting care at home may need help with eating. When helping your loved one eat, be patient and give the person plenty of time. And let the person do as much on his or her own as possible. This can help your loved one feel more independent when having meals.

You can help by encouraging the person to choose healthy foods. If your loved one has had a stroke or has problems with swallowing, dental problems, or problems with thinking or memory, you may have to provide extra help with eating and getting enough nutrition. If the person has trouble swallowing, your doctor, a certified dietitian, or a speech therapist can give you specific instructions to help with eating.

Meals can be a great way to spend time together and talk. Eat with your loved one if you can. You may want to play soft music or have your mobile phone or the TV turned off. Try to create a pleasant mood during the meal.

Encourage your loved one's appetite

The person you're caring for may have a low appetite or need some encouragement to eat regularly. To help encourage your loved one to eat:

Help prepare for a meal

Before the meal, you may need to prepare to help your loved one eat. Here are a few tips.

Help the person during the meal

When you help your loved one eat a meal:

Credits for Caregiving: Helping Someone With Eating

Current as of: March 17, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Gayle E. Stauffer, RN - Registered Nurse

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