Feb 14, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Walnut Creek
To help your senior loved one life their best life possible, our caregiver team in Walnut Creek, CA, could keep an eye on any signs and symptoms associated with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.
Occasional difficulty swallowing, which may occur when your loved one just eats too fast and doesn’t chew their food very well, is nothing to worry about. However, persistent dysphagia may be something you’ll want to keep an eye on. Signs of dysphagia include being unable to swallow, having the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat, unexpectedly losing weight and coughing or gagging when swallowing.
A Comfort Keepers caregiver will call for emergency help immediately. Caregivers could make sure your loved one sits up straight during meals, and for 45 to 60 minutes after eating. Your parent could moisturize their mouth with a disposable oral swab or by brushing their teeth. Home care providers can also make sure your parent has a drink handy during meals. This way they can sip water or juice between bites, and help move food along. It’s important that the drink isn’t bubbly. Small bites are a must. Your parent should think about cutting their food into small pieces to minimize the risk of choking. If they can’t do it, our caregiver can assist. Seniors with dysphagia should swallow more often, even two or three times per bite or sip. If food or liquid catches in your loved one’s throat, they should cough gently or clear their throat, and swallow again before taking a breath.
Treatment for dysphagia includes the involvement of both a speech language therapist and a registered dietitian. A speech therapist typically identifies the specific problem and makes suggestions that may include changes in positioning or posture when eating or drinking, exercises to strengthen or improve swallowing muscles, techniques to aid in swallowing more safely, or changes in consistency of foods and the possibility of adding thickeners to fluids to improve ease of swallowing. A dietician can outline the appropriate consistency of foods that minimizes the difficulties of swallowing and eating. Our caregiver can prepare meals according to their suggestions.
Comfort Keepers in Walnut Creek, CA is dedicated to helping your senior loved one improve the quality of their life and maintain their independence. Managing dysphagia can help your senior loved one reduce their risk of choking and improve their meal times. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help your senior loved one live their best life possible.
Comfort Keepers of Walnut Creek, CA proudly provides quality in home care services and custom senior care plans to residents in following areas: Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, El Sobrante, Hercules, Pinole, Pittsburg, San Pablo