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Eating Difficulties

By Kelly Collier, OTR

(Page 2 of 2)

Finally, is your loved one having difficulty with the physical act of feeding himself?  Weakness, decreased range of motion, impaired coordination, low vision or tremors can impair their ability to feed themselves and result in frustration and embarrassment.  There are many simple solutions for these issues. Someone having difficulty grasping a utensil may benefit from built-up handles. Tremors can be lessened by adding weight to utensils or the personís wrist, resulting in fewer spills. Handled cups with lids and spouts are also effective in lessening spills. For someone with worsening vision, increasing the contrast between the plate, food and table may allow them to see the contents of their meal a little easier.

Providing finger foods may also help to increase independence for someone with visual or coordination impairments. A short course of Occupational Therapy may be indicated to improve arm and hand strength, range of motion, and coordination if difficulties persist.

Addressing eating difficulties as soon as they arise can prevent more serious complications in the future.


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