Registered User
Oct 30, 2007
I work with a project that is providing training to unpaid carers who look after someone with dementia. One lady looks after her husband who has dementia and at dinner times he constantly chews his food for a long time before swallowing. He does not have problems with swallowing or his teeth, he knows he is chewing and asks his wife how long does he have to chew it. This happens every meal time, his wife does say that whilst he has to chew it before swallowing the stomach juices will also break the food down. She gets very annoyed with him when he does this and has tried se:rolleyes: veral things but nothing seems to work. She does not know why he does it, maybe it is from child hood being told to chew his food properly as we were often told by our parents.
Does any one have any similar experiences/solutions that you can offer this lady? Thanks

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
NeePen said:
asks his wife how long does he have to chew it.
Hello NeePen, welcome to TP.

I imagine if this gentleman has to ask his wife how long he has to chew his food, then his brain is not telling him it`s ready to swallow. There`s no point in getting cross, if he knew what to do I`m sure he would do it.

I can only suggest she seeks medical or psychiatric advice.


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007

Our Mum is the slowest eater in the world - and she can seemingly chew soup, mashed potato. ice cream etc. New teeth haven't helped at all.

When we watched her really closely we noticed that she doesn't really chew properly- she just seems to get a piece of food and "compress" it over and over and over again . Hence she can't eat any kind of meat of toast crusts etc.

Recently she came home from hospital and we thought she was chewing gum - it was a piece of meat from the stew she had been given about 3 hours previously !

She seems to have forgotten how to chew and swallow normally- perhaps this is what is happening with your chap - with her if it doesn't melt down - it doesn't go down ! BUT it has taken us months and months to work out what was actually happening.



Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
My mum used to chew for ages; her main course could easily take an hour to eat - and dad used to sit patiently feeding her.
When she went on a soft diet at the nursing home it did speed things up a little - but she would often try to chew food that didnt need it. So really all I could suggest is more stuff like mashed potato; minced beef that doesnt need chewing, scrambled eggs; keep the meals moist.

Mum also used to pouch food - so severall hours later we could find her chewing a piece of meat that she had secreted in her cheek!!

Love Helen