Comfort Feeding in Dementia

“What are we doing? He would never want to live like this!”

For patients with advanced dementia, consider recommending feeding for comfort rather than medicalized nutrition. This means:

  • Choosing foods that the patient responds to with pleasure
  • Stopping feeding when disinterest develops
  • Not setting calorie goals
  • Not using nutritional shakes
  • Allowing meals to be skipped when there is no interest in food

It means focusing on the social aspects of mealtime:

  • Making conversation and eye contact
  • Creating a pleasant space for eating
  • Slowing down

View our Guide for Providing Comfort Feeding in Advanced Dementia, a hand-out for families and caregivers at facilities.

For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest, 360-814-5550, or  or

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