In this post, Halcyon Hospice’s dietician, Kimberley Casey, shares some things to consider when caring for a loved one on hospice who is having trouble eating or who won’t eat at all.
“We need to be aware that mouth pain can become an issue in the elderly. Broken or loose teeth can become painful when trying to chew. Weight loss can affect how dentures and partial plates fit, also creating a potential source of pain when eating. It’s also important to consider the dining environment when feeding your loved one – does the individual prefer a group setting, making it ideal to sit with the family, or do crowds or groups of people create a distraction that decreases intake? Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when individuals refuse food through various cues, the caregiver should never force them to eat. Refusing food and liquid can be a natural part of the end-of-life process.” – Kimberly Casey, Hospice Dietician
For more on this subject, check out Splendid Table’s “Tips on Cooking for the Elderly.”