Elder Care in New Canaan CT
Difficulty chewing and swallowing can make meals something that your elderly loved one tries to avoid whenever she can. Try some of these tips to help make mealtime a little more effective for your loved one.
Posture and Location Make a Huge Difference
If your loved one tends to lean back when she eats or if she prefers to eat sitting in a favorite comfy chair, she may have more difficulty eating properly. Help your loved one to sit fully upright while she's eating. If she can lean slightly forward, that might make eating softer foods even easier. Try propping pillows behind her to support her.
Keep Your Loved One Upright after Eating
Try keeping your loved one in the same position in which she ate for at least 15 minutes afterward. This helps to ensure that your loved one's body has had time to move the food from her esophagus into her stomach. This is especially helpful if your loved one has issues with heartburn or acid reflux. One easy way to do this is to sit with your loved one while she's eating and engage her in conversation after she eats.
Choose Foods that Are Easy to Eat
Finding the right foods for a loved one who has difficulty chewing or swallowing can be extremely difficult. This can be further complicated if your loved one is a picky eater, too. Try foods that are soft but that have some body to them. Thicker soups, purees that aren't fully liquid, and foods such as cottage cheese all give your loved one's esophagus something to work with while swallowing. Sometimes liquids are too thin and your loved one can struggle even more.
Talk to Your Loved One's Doctor
Work with your loved one's doctor to find a diet that is full of the right nutrition and that your loved one is able to eat. You'll want to include some variety, so you may want to work with a nutritionist or a dietician, too. The key is to make sure that all of your loved one's needs are met with her diet so that she doesn't need to move on to more invasive feeding techniques before she absolutely has to do so.
Your loved one's elder care providers may have some other tips that can help your loved one and her individual situation, too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in New Canaan, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.