Avoid feeding them breads with raisins, nuts or seeds, along with hard, dry crackers or cereals. If they can tolerate thin liquids, first moisten the cereal, bread or crackers with milk or another liquid. Rice or pastas that are well-cooked are also good choices for those with a swallowing impairment.
If it turns out that your loved one does suffer from dysphagia, the following tips can help you to manage their condition effectively:
7 Ways to Help Ease Eating and Swallowing Difficulties
Some older adults have trouble swallowing food or liquids. This serious condition is called dysphagia and could cause malnutrition, dehydration, or aspiration pneumonia. For caregivers, it’s scary to watch someone who’s having trouble swallowing and not be able to help.
Try canned fruit and cooked vegetables. Fruits or vegetables with tough skins or seeds such as pears, nectarines, apples, cherries, apricots, tomatoes, peas, corn, blackberries, raspberries. Try soft peeled, canned or strained fruit and cooked mashed vegetables.
Treatment for dysphagia includes:
Aging. Due to natural aging and normal wear and tear on the esophagus as well as a greater risk of certain conditions, such as stroke or Parkinson’s disease, older adults are at higher risk of swallowing difficulties.
alternating temperature and taste within a meal, for example, sweet and savoury food or hot and very cold foods or fluids. offering sips of ice cold drink before a meal or in between mouthfuls. giving verbal prompts to swallow. trying placing an empty spoon in the mouth between mouthfuls to help stimulate a swallow.
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.
They include soft, cooked, or mashed fruits or vegetables, soft or ground meats moist with gravy, cottage cheese, peanut butter, and soft scrambled eggs. You should avoid crackers, nuts, and other dry foods.
Many cases of dysphagia can be improved with treatment, but a cure isn’t always possible. Treatments for dysphagia include: speech and language therapy to learn new swallowing techniques. changing the consistency of food and liquids to make them safer to swallow.