Dysphagia in the elderly management and nutritional considerations

Dysphagia in the elderly management and nutritional considerations

What is the primary nutrition implication of dysphagia?

Consequences of dysphagia Dysphagic patients are at particularly high risk of micro- and macronutrient deficiencies, in view of the habitual consumption of altered consistency intakes or less nutrient dense meals and difficulties in tolerating large fluid volumes.

How do elderly patients with dysphagia eat?

Remember that dysphagia patients have individual requirements, so all of these guidelines may not apply to every patient. Maintain an upright position (as near 90 degrees as possible) whenever eating or drinking. Take small bites — only 1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time. Eat slowly. Avoid talking while eating.

What needs to be done for patients with dysphagia?

Helping patients with dysphagia eat providing mouth care immediately before meals to help improve taste. encouraging the patient to rest before meals so he’s not too tired to eat. offering him small, frequent meals. minimizing or eliminating distractions so he can focus his attention on eating and swallowing.

How is dysphagia treated in the elderly?

For oropharyngeal dysphagia , doctors will likely recommend a combination of exercises (designed to help re-coordinate muscles used during swallowing) and speech therapy. Esophageal dysphagia may be more involved. If there is a stricture, a doctor may need to dilate the esophagus in order to expand its width.

How do you monitor dysphagia?

Tests may include: X-ray with a contrast material (barium X-ray). Dynamic swallowing study. A visual examination of your esophagus (endoscopy). Fiber-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Esophageal muscle test (manometry). Imaging scans.

What are the dietary considerations for patients with dysphagia?

It is important to avoid other foods, including: Non-pureed breads. Any cereal with lumps. Cookies, cakes, or pastry. Whole fruit of any kind. Non-pureed meats, beans, or cheese. Scrambled, fried, or hard-boiled eggs. Non-pureed potatoes, pasta, or rice. Non-pureed soups.

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How can elderly improve their swallowing?

How to Perform: Take a deep breath and keep holding your breath as you place a small bite of food in your mouth and swallow . Then, cough to clear any remnants of saliva or food which may have gone down past your vocal cords. Lastly, exhale. During your first few attempts at the exercise, do not use food.

What causes swallowing problems in the elderly?

Sometimes, dysphagia is just a normal sign of aging . As people get older, sometimes their mouth and throat muscles begin to weaken. This, in turn, can lead to swallowing difficulties.

Does dysphagia go away?

Dysphagia is a another medical name for difficulty swallowing. This symptom isn’t always indicative of a medical condition. In fact, this condition may be temporary and go away on its own.

What is the most common complication of dysphagia?

The main complication of dysphagia is coughing and choking, which can lead to pneumonia .

What is the best medicine for dysphagia?

Which medications are used in the treatment of dysphagia? Botulinum toxin type A ( BoNT -A): Injected endoscopically into the gastroesophageal sphincter and upper esophagus to decrease tone; this can be very useful in cricopharyngeal spasms causing dysphagia. Diltiazem : Can aid in esophageal contractions and motility, especially in the disorder known as the nutcracker esophagus.

Does dysphagia get worse?

Dysphagia can come and go, be mild or severe, or get worse over time. If you have dysphagia , you may: Have problems getting food or liquids to go down on the first try. Gag, choke, or cough when you swallow.

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How common is dysphagia in the elderly?

The true prevalence of dysphagia is higher in the elderly population than the general population. Although the prevalence of dysphagia in the Midwestern US population was reported to be 6% to 9%,1 its prevalence in community-dwelling persons over age 50 years is estimated to be between 15% and 22%.

What is a swallow test for the elderly?

During a bedside swallow exam , your health care provider assesses your risk for dysphagia and aspiration. The test can be performed in a hospital room and doesn’t need any special equipment. You will first be asked about your symptoms. You will also have a physical exam of the muscles used to swallow .

Is dysphagia a normal part of aging?

Changes from Normal Aging Many changes to swallow function come with healthy aging and do not result in dysphagia . Of course, elderly people experience dysphagia – the prevalence in community-dwelling elderly appears to be 15%.

Alice Sparrow

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