Can anyone help direct me to an article that explains why people with dementia choke on food and have problems swallowing? My uncle yells at my aunt for eating too fast, but I am sure it's part of her disease and I can't find anything on the web that would explain it easy enough for him to understand.
I'm hoping that Dr. Grimaldi can answer this for me in a manner that my 88 year old uncle could understand. His 82 year old wife has dementia and recently I have noticed that her choking while swallowing or drinking more often. My uncle gets annoyed because he thinks she's not paying attention, but I feel strongly it's part of her disease. If I'm wrong,tell me - if I'm right can you please supply an expaination that will be simple enough for my uncle to understand. I could really use some help with this one. Thanks
Anyway I feel a weight off my Trouble mind just for putting pen to paper,
Thank you ❤️
However, my mom will not do any of the above. She likes orange juice, ginger ale and water. She sips one sip at a time. But it's how she sits when she drinks. She won't listen to me so she does things her way and I don't want to argue with her because she gets aggressive.
GardenArtist, we have an appt for her coming up and I am definitely going to mention this to her doctor. It's not food she chokes on, it's only liquids. I cut her food up in small pieces so that won't be an issue. And she actually does pretty good with sandwiches. I make her tuna, salmon and turkey ad she loves those options.
So, we'll figure something out. She doesn't even like sneezing anymore. She reacts the same way as if she's choking...she fights the motions natural to stopping it. Not sure why.
Has your mother ever seen a therapist? She might not be interested, but it would help to clarify the extent of her dysphagia, as well as help you identify the foods that are safe to eat.
Choking for 20 minutes is frightening. As CWillie advises, there are methods of coping with dysphagia.
Google "dysphagia diet levels" and spend some time becoming acquainted with the various foods that are appropriate at each level. And document which ones make your mother choke and/or cough.
Beyond the discomfort and concern, there's the issue of aspiration pneumonia. We discussed this last week with our pulmonologist.
Once she had a really bad choking spell that scared me. It took nearly 20 minutes before she stopped, but she wouldn't raise her arms. I know it's only going to get worse but the problem is when she's at home at night. She has someone living with her but she isn't as concerned about certain things as I am.
Since you're interested in dementia and driving, something like that might be a good title for a new post so that people interested and knowledgeable on that topic would respond.
If you haven't read this Agingcare article it may be of some help: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/dysphagia-how-to-help-a-loved-one-eat-and-drink-safely-187010.htm
We will not be using a feeding tube.
Thanks very much for that tip about tucking your chin into your chest before swallowing. Sounds so simple. We're seeing the speech therapist and she has spotted a delay in swallowing liquids and we're still having problems but this simple tip might just help. Will try and see. Thanks Cathy2
pneumonia. Mom is in a nursing him now and on a mechanical diet and thickened liquids. We let her sneak regular water, so does the nurse, but not without that reminder, tuck you chin to your chest before you swallow. There is help out there. Wish you well.
We use a thickening product (I like Simply Thick, it's a gel, mixes better than powders, and mixes more quickly than the other thickeners.) For anyone whose loved one is choking on liquids take a look at Hormel's website. They have a home healthcare unit and we order prethickened drinks, including powdered coffee and tea. Prices are reasonable and there is free Fed Ex shipping.
He has a mechanical soft diet which means ground foods, well cooked veggies. He can more easily eat things like meat loaf, chicken croquettes, meatballs, pasta, any soft, ground meats. He's to stay away from foods hard to chew like pork chops, steak, peanut butter, raw veggies. He is also finding it easier to swallow his pills with a spoon of applesauce.
We see a speech pathologist for this.