5 Ways to Help Someone with Chewing and Swallowing Problems When They Eat

Gentle coaching and foods that are more easily consumed can improve results.


- Posted on Nov 22, 2019

A woman being fed oatmeal in her bed.

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

Mealtimes can be a challenge for someone who has trouble chewing and swallowing due to Alzheimer’s. If your family member needs your assistance with eating, you may want to consider the following suggestions: 

1. Make sure your loved one is eating in an upright position.

2. Alternate solids with sips of liquids.

3. As he or she eats, put additional liquids into the foods—for example, pour more milk into the oatmeal.

4. Gently coach your loved one through the meal: “Great, Dad. You can open your mouth…now close…now chew…swallow…”

5. Try touching his or her chin or cheek as a comforting way to stimulate chewing.

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