Tips: Helping a Senior with Swallowing Difficulties

Tips: Helping a Senior with Swallowing Difficulties

Dysphagia is the medical term attributed to swallowing difficulty. For both the senior loved one and their caregiver, this condition can be worrisome. It prevents the senior from eating and drinking well, so their health and wellbeing are at stake.

As your trusted provider of assisted living services in Conroe, Texas, we’re here to assist you in caring for your loved one who suffers from swallowing difficulties. For that, we would like to share these helpful tips on how you can better assist your loved one when swallowing becomes difficult for them.

  • Provide thickeners for the drinks and beverages.
    Healthy thickeners can be pureed fruits that are also ideal for their condition. When liquids are thickened, these can travel down the throat easily and can reduce the chances of gagging or choking. However, there are ideal settings of thickness. For that, you will need the guidance of care professionals particularly those with experience in providing senior care services in Texas.
  • Soften foods so that these can also be easier to swallow.
    For fruits and vegetables, you may integrate a mashed diet or serve the softer ones. When puree or mashing is not possible, serve the food in very thin slices and when possible, mix them with thick sauces to aid in better swallowing.
  • Be patient and give them time.
    Give your loved one as much time as possible for them to eat and swallow the food you’re helping them with. These conditions need not be hurried so that unpleasant consequences can be prevented. Ensure that your loved one has swallowed completely before giving another serving.
  • Remove distractions.
    Take away anything that can distract your loved one so they will be more focused on eating. When possible, place them in a very comfortable area at home so that they can also enjoy eating in the best possible way that they can.
  • Be extra cautious about signs of choking or swallowing difficulty.
    It is also important that, as family caregivers, we are focused on helping our loved ones to eat well. Minor difficulties may lead to unwanted consequences and we would want to immediately provide assistance when these happen.
  • Make sure that your loved ones’ sitting position is upright.
    When they are slouching or reclining, it can be more difficult for them to swallow. If they need assistance in staying upright, ensure that they are sitting on a comfortable chair that promotes better posture.
  • Select ideal times of the day when your loved one is in their best mood.
    Sometimes our appetite is affected by our mood. When you are serving your loved one who’s in a good mood, it will be easier for them to finish their meals.

Does your senior loved one face swallowing difficulties at home? When these issues affect their quality life, consider relocating them to our facility at Above & Beyond Assisted Living. You can rely on our team to provide quality assistance, not only in helping your loved one to eat but also in other areas such as their personal care.

If you’d like to learn more about our other services, contact us.

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