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Meals for Swallowing Difficulties

Meals For Swallowing Difficulties

Dysphagia is a condition when people experience difficulty with swallowing or choking. Whether it be food, liquid or even saliva, some individuals with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, Cerebral Palsy or even a stroke have difficulty swallowing. This condition is more common than you think. Over 6 million Americans over the age of 60 have swallowing difficulties. If food or liquids aren't swallowed, it can be a serious hazard and be aspirated into the lungs causing pneumonia.

Here are a few tips to help those with swallowing difficulties:

There are thickeners to add to liquids to create a nectar or pudding consistency for water, milk or other liquids to aid in swallowing. Liquid meal replacements should not become a regular habit as they do not contain enough nutrients.

You can ask a dietician for some help with meal ideas for your loved one including steaming vegetables and mashing them with a fork, pureeing food in blender, serving mashed potatoes and gravy, creamy cereals, or cook pasta and cut into small pieces with a sauce of soft-cooked veggies. Homemade creamy based soups can pack a lot of nutrition and taste. Fruits can be blended into a smoothie. There are even a few books written to help caregivers: I Can’t Chew Cookbook by Randy Wilson or Tips for Getting the Most out of Meals by Debra Mestas.

Hopefully, a few of these ideas will be useful for you or your loved one with swallowing difficulties. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider in-home care to give you the break you need. Call ElderCare 4 Families at 502-244-8446 for help.

Posted Wednesday, 09/24/14, 12:38 AM - Comments - Category: Eating Healthy

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