How Long Should A 3-Year-Old Be Able To Sit Still Feeding the Elderly When They Can’t Feed Themselves

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Feeding the Elderly When They Can’t Feed Themselves

Sometimes the elderly have problems with eating. They may not be able to actually operate the appliance. They may not understand how to start eating. They may not be able to continue eating after starting due to fatigue. When you’re helping others by feeding them or helping them support themselves, there are a few things to consider.

Always sit next to the person you are feeding. If you are right-handed, sit to their right. If you are left-handed, sit to their left. However, if you are assisting with them (i.e. let them hold the utensil and direct their actions), sit on the side they are using. Try sitting next to the person so they can still see you. Never sit in front of this person and feed them like a baby – it’s degrading. Never stand up and feed. This can make one feel rushed and cause the head to tilt back, which can lead to choking. The same is true when giving someone a drink or a pill. You should always be at the same level.

Encourage patients to feed themselves as much as possible. They may be able to pick up finger foods such as french fries, bread, fruit slices, etc. Sandwiches are a great way to encourage yourself to eat. Creamy soups served in coffee mugs are also easy to handle. Some people may continue to eat on their own if you help them start eating by placing your hand over theirs, scooping up the food, and helping them get it to their mouth. This is especially true for people with dementia.

Whenever possible, try to offer foods that you can pick up with your fingers or eat with a spoon. Trying to switch back and forth between utensils can be confusing and physically challenging. Check the dimensions of the cutlery you are using to make sure it is the right size. If the person tends to take large bites, try using a smaller spoon. If you are feeding someone, the spoon should only be half full.

Encourage the other person to tell you what they want. If they can’t tell you what they want, try showing more nutritious foods first. Be careful when serving large amounts of liquid early in a meal or putting dessert before the main course is finished. Older adults often drink a lot of fluids or sweets before they have the opportunity to eat healthier foods. If the other person doesn’t really seem to like something, try offering other items.

Pay close attention to the temperature of the food. When in doubt, check with a food thermometer. Remember that the person you are feeding may not be able to tell you if there is a problem with the food. They may also experience decreased sensation due to a medical condition. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 45 minutes between meals. After that long, the food doesn’t taste good anymore, and the person you’re feeding may be exhausted. It is best to eat smaller meals or provide snacks between meals. Eating should always be a pleasurable experience.

Be sure to watch for any problems chewing or swallowing. These may be related to poorly fitting dentures, decreased mental status, or physical problems. These should be reported to a doctor quickly so that appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that the person is safe to eat.

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