Many patients receiving home health have limitations in feeding and eating.
Factors that cause a patient to have limitations in self-care include: activity intolerance, cognitive impairment, decreased motivation, decreased strength and endurance, depression, environmental factors, fatigue, weakness, impaired mobility or transfer ability, musculoskeletal impairment, neuromuscular impairment, perceptual impairment, pain, discomfort, severe anxiety. MyHomecareBiz recommends the following strategies...
For the patient with feeding and eating deficits offer these strategies to the patient to maximize nutritional intake.
Preparing and serving food for optimum nutritional intake
- Serve 5-6 small meals rather than three large meals.
- Chop or cut the food into bite-size pieces.
- Serve the most nutritious foods first.
- Allow the patient enough time to chew and swallow each bite.
- If necessary for swallowing difficulties, puree the food first in a food processor or blender before serving it.
- Combine foods into one dish: i.e. eggs combined with bacon, potatoes, and spinach in an omelet.
- Make sure that all food is within the visual range of the patient.
Positioning of body during eating
- Use a chair that supports posture.
- Make sure the patient is positioned at 90 degrees for safe and easy swallowing
- Provide comfortable cushioning for the patient’s seat
- Position the patient at a comfortable distance from table
Eating and Drinking Utensils that help with limited dexterity
- Built up handles reduce the need for fine pinch to hold the utensil and instead only requires a full hand grasp
- Bendable handles can be adjusted to the needs of the patient
- Weighted handles reduce the amount of movement in a shaking hand.
- Swivel utensils for unwanted hand movements (shaking) to decrease spilling food between the plate and one’s mouth.
- Universal cuff for limited hand movements including pinch or grasp.
- Cup with lid and straw to reduce the risk of spilling or dribbling liquids out of the cup when drinking.
- Weighted cup to reduce spilling from unwanted shaking movements.