If your elderly family member has ever had trouble swallowing, you probably already know that this issue can create much bigger problems in its wake. To keep your elderly family member from suffering from malnutrition, you may need to make some changes.
Eating More Often Can Help
Eating more frequently often means that those meals are a little bit smaller. This can help because smaller meals are less intimidating for someone who has trouble swallowing. Try putting together some snack plates for your senior and see how those work for her.
Pay Attention to How the Food Is Served
As you're putting meals and snacks together for your elderly family member, pay greater attention to how those foods are served. Smaller pieces are much easier for her to manage, even with smaller servings. Foods with a softer texture can also be a good plan. Try to experiment a bit to find the right combination for your senior.
Make Meals More Social
When your elderly family member is forced to eat alone, she's more likely to try to eat more quickly or worse yet, to avoid eating altogether. Sit down with your senior and make eating a snack or a meal a social event that breaks up the day. If you can't be there with her, consider hiring senior care providers to spend meal times with her.
Avoid Foods and Drinks that Give Your Senior Trouble
If there are specific foods that give your elderly family member more trouble swallowing, do what you can to avoid those foods completely. For some aging adults, soft foods are a good option, but they can be troublesome for others. Some people don't find straws to be useful, either. Beverages with a thin consistency can be difficult to swallow, so consider thickeners.
Heartburn Can Make Problems Swallowing Worse
Heartburn can make swallowing even more problematic for your senior. Work with her doctor to determine what is causing her heartburn and do what you can to keep it at bay. This might mean avoiding triggering foods and drinks, unfortunately. But if it helps your senior to be able to swallow more easily, she might find that to be a worthy sacrifice.
You may need to periodically assess what's working well for your aging family member and what isn't. Work closely with her doctor to help determine what you can try next. Keep in mind that her situation may change over time and as the rest of her health changes, too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Park City, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.