What Should Seniors with Dysphagia Eat?

Having dysphagia means that your aging relative has trouble with swallowing. They are unable to move food easily from the mouth to the stomach. There may be pain during swallowing, food may get stuck, or swallowing could be impossible. People with dysphagia often need to eat a specialized diet to ensure they get enough nutrition without choking.

Home Care Ventura CA - What Should Seniors with Dysphagia Eat?

Home Care Ventura CA – What Should Seniors with Dysphagia Eat?

Kinds of Dysphagia Diets

There are several kinds of diets that a doctor or dietician may recommend for your aging relative with dysphagia.

Some types of dysphagia diets are:

Pureed Diet: Pureed foods have a consistently smooth texture, like pudding. Foods are pureed using a food processor or blender. You may also have to strain foods to remove large pieces. Often liquids are added to the foods to get them to the right consistency. For example, you might add gravy to meats or juice to fruits.

Mechanical Soft: A mechanical soft diet includes foods that are chopped or blended to make them easier to swallow. Some foods that seniors on a mechanical soft diet may eat are breads, hot cereal, boxed cereals soaked in milk, scrambled eggs, soft cooked vegetables, cottage cheese, and soups.

Soft Diet: A soft diet does not include anything that requires a lot of chewing. For example, the older adult would not be able to eat raw vegetables, tough meat, or sticky breads.

Sometimes people with dysphagia choke on regular, thin liquids. They may need to have liquids that are thickened. There are thickening agents that can be added to liquids, making them easier to swallow.

Tips for Eating with Dysphagia

If your aging relative has dysphagia, eating can take a little more preparation.

Some tips to follow include:

  • Sit upright with the legs at a 90-degree angle from the body. Use pillows to aid with posture, if needed.
  • Avoid distractions so the older adult can focus on eating. Turn off the television and limit conversation.
  • Be certain that the senior and their caregivers all understand what kinds of foods are allowed in the person’s diet.
  • If the older adult needs thickened liquids, you can purchase them at the pharmacy or online. If you’re uncertain what thickness liquids should be, ask the doctor, dietician, or speech pathologist for guidance.
  • Try to keep meals enjoyable by seasoning foods and presenting them in an appealing way.

Home care can assist your older adult with following a dysphagia diet. Home care providers can plan meals and take the senior grocery shopping. A home care provider can also prepare the foods, including pureeing, chopping, and blending them.

Sources:  https://www.livestrong.com/article/315485-diets-for-patients-with-dysphagia/



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