Several health issues can lead to dysphagia. Dysphagia is a term used in the medical world that describes difficulty swallowing. One of the conditions it occurs in is Alzheimer’s. Acid reflux disease scarring and inflammation, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and esophageal tumors are others.
If dysphagia is present, it can cause problems like aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition.
Someone who is having a hard time swallowing may cut back on eating or drinking (dehydration). Sometimes the dysphagia leads to choking that forces the food or drink into the nasal cavity where it comes out through the nose.
When a parent has a hard time swallowing due to a disease like Alzheimer’s, it’s alarming. You want them to eat, but you hate seeing them choke. Some foods will help ease dysphagia and make a meal more appealing to your parent.
Foods With Plenty of Moisture
One of the ways to make it easier for someone with dysphagia to eat is by focusing on very moist foods. Some of the best options are cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, root vegetables that are boiled, diced melons, ground meats that are served with a lot of gravy, and nut butter or preserves on a muffin.
Soups that have soft chunky vegetables and small pieces of meat are easy to eat. The added moisture from the broth can make it easier to manage. Casseroles like shepherd’s pie or chicken with dumplings are other ideas that can help.
Pureed foods are ideal when dysphagia is present. Pureed foods are especially helpful when it’s hard to swallow even soft chunks. Yogurts without fruit chunks, watery mashed potatoes, and pureed soups are foods that will help. Use a pastry bag to pipe the purees of different colors into fun patterns on the plate.
When you’re caring for a parent with dysphagia, it can be stressful being the only one preparing meals and watching your parent as he/she eats. You need to pay attention to ensure your mom or dad doesn’t choke or aspirate on a food. If you’re short on time a nutritional shake like Boost or Ensure will keep your parent from becoming malnourished or dehydrated. Senior care services also help with meal planning.
It could be time to bring in professional caregivers to help monitor your parent during and after meals. Senior care aides can help you prefer soft, liquidy foods. They can also make sure your parent is drinking enough throughout the day. Call a senior care agency to learn more about caregivers and how they can help with mealtime.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Sandy Springs, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army
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