Assisted Feeding


Assisted feeding, also called hand feeding or oral feeding, is the action of a person feeding another person who cannot otherwise feed themselves. The term is used in the context of some medical issue or in response to a disability, such as when a person living with dementia is no longer able to manage eating alone. The person being fed must be able to eat by mouth, but lacks either the cognitive or physical ability to self-feed. Individuals who are born with a disability like cerebral palsy, or arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) may be unable to feed themselves. Also, those who acquire a disability due to an accident or a disease like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may require hand feeding because they may become unable to pick-up and bring food to their own mouth. Guidance about safely assisting people to eat can be found at the Feeding the Disabled website.

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