How to Spoon-Feed Someone With Dementia

Some people reach a point of needing to be spoon-fed, because they can no longer physically manipulate utensils or the tongue motions to chew and swallow effectively. Yet the appetite may still be strong.

To spoon-feed successfully, try these tips:

1. Put only a small amount of food on the spoon at a time. If your loved one has difficulty opening his or her mouth wide enough, use a small, narrow spoon or even a baby spoon.

2. Serve moist or moistened foods that don't require much chewing (pureed foods, yogurt, potatoes with gravy, oatmeal, grits).

3. If necessary, remind the person to swallow. Make sure the food is swallowed before you offer more.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio