Data obtained from observing the residents of three long-term care facilities showed that the majority required some assistance in feeding. The facilities differed in the percentage of residents needing help and in the physical and attitudinal support given for self-feeding. Regardless of level of independence in feeding, most residents received adequate food intake. Physical problems, which posed a greater handicap to self-feeding than mental problems, were of four types: improper positioning, dysphagia, upper extremity dysfunctions, and blindness.

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