Ask an Expert: Can OT Help My Mom Feed Herself?

Question: My mom has dementia and seems to have forgotten how to use her silverware to feed herself. Can OT help?

Answer: Yes! Sometimes, as dementia progresses, people can have more difficulty feeding themselves. OTs can figure out what’s getting in the way of self-feeding and provide the best amount of support that helps the client maintain their skills for as long as possible.

Your OT can recommend changes in things like the type of dishes used, the kind of food offered and how it is presented, distraction level, and adjusting routines and schedules. OTs train caregivers in offering the right kind of cueing and support. OTs also take into consideration other factors outside of dementia that may be impairing self-feeding.


Stephanie Grunklee, MOT, graduated from Maryville University of St. Louis with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Stephanie is a champion of the Wound Care Program. She is passionate about geriatric rehabilitation and understands the importance of an interdisciplinary team-based approach to help patients reach their goals.