What Can You Do for a Senior with Trouble Swallowing?

August 16, 2019

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Problems with swallowing can make eating difficult, if not impossible, for your senior. It’s vital that she doesn’t just give up eating entirely, so some of these tips might help.

She Might Have Luck Eating More Frequently

Your senior might be avoiding eating because it’s difficult for her, but that complicates everything. Eating smaller meals more frequently can help with swallowing issues. It can also help your senior to get past the emotional barriers she might be developing around eating. As she has more success with food, she may be more open to eating.

Serve Smaller Meals with Softer Textures

Along with serving smaller meals in general, make sure that you’re cutting foods into smaller pieces and that the textures are softer. You can even find foods now that are tailored to adults who have difficulty swallowing. These foods often have a very soft texture without being liquid and they’re full of flavor, which can help quite a bit.

Avoid Situations Where Your Senior Eats Alone

Eating alone when she has trouble swallowing is a really bad idea. First, it might cause your senior to eat more quickly, which is a big problem. But she can also run into trouble on her own and that’s not good. If you’re not able to sit with her at meals, elderly care providers can join her for meals. They can handle other tasks for her, too, but having their companionship while eating can make a big difference.

Troublesome Foods and Drinks Should Be Avoided

Keep track of the foods and drinks that tend to give your senior the most trouble. For some seniors, the texture might be off or the flavors just don’t mesh well with the format of the food. Meats that are pureed, for instance, can sometimes be off-putting for aging adults. Whatever those foods are, they’re best to be avoided so they don’t give your senior trouble.

Find Solutions for Heartburn

If your senior is prone to heartburn, that can give her even more trouble swallowing. Find answers that make sure that your senior doesn’t have to fight through the heartburn to get some food into herself at every meal. Keeping a food diary can help, because some foods make heartburn more likely.

Your senior might have trouble temporarily or permanently with swallowing, so it’s vital that you find solutions that work for her. Her doctor can help you to find other answers, too.


Excerpt: Lots of aging adults have trouble swallowing, so it’s important to find solutions.


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