Anyone have experience with their loved one pocketing food?

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Mom has been doing a lot of pocketing of her food lately, then spitting it out. We serve her soft food -- fish, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, mac n cheese, etc... She doesn't have a large quantity of food on her plate, but she shovels it in her. We try to tell her to slow down, but that doesn't last long. She chews a long time. This seems to go on at dinner time. Today, she finished eating, but I knew she has some in her cheek. Ten minutes later, she spit it out. It was chewed up. She has not choked on food, thank goodness, but she does choke on liquid, mainly water. (She will not drink it with Thick-it). Does anyone have experience with this? Is this a frontotemporal dementia symptom? What can I expect?

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msfits, good to know that SimplyThick changed their formula. ThickIt is cornstarch and maltadextrin. There are always balls of cornstarch at the bottom of the drink.... Who wants to drink that???

Lynina, smoothies are a great option. Thanks.

Llamalover, thanks. The doctor knows, as does hospice. They won't do anything at her age....
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Reply to Mapotter
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This could lead to aspiratiom pneumonia. So she should be seen by her doctor stat.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My mom had the same issues. I used to make her "smoothies" that were supplemented with carnation instant breakfast and ice cream. She loved them and no pocketing. Soups work the same way. Her favorite? Broccoli cheddar soup. You can get a lot of nutrition in with these two food types. Aspiration pneumonia is a real risk with this condition.
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Reply to lynina2
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My Dad has dysphagia and can only have blended/pureed foods and thickened liquids. SimplyThick recently redid their formula and it is MUCH easier to thicken things and does not leave lumps or globs. If she still resists, at least try smoothies or something thicker like that. We were told at swallowing tests that thin liquids, such as water, are the worst for choking on because they go down so fast. The pocketing is frustrating and I don't have any real answers for that other than sitting with them at mealtime and reminding them to keep swallowing and take small spoonfuls.
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Reply to msfits
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I'm wondering if she is served very small amts, when all gone serve little more. My hubby has had trouble w meat so I now take scissors & cut it very small. He now separates all food like eats tomato out of salad then cut up fine spinach then onto mashed potato etc. I've had him spit out if he can't chew.
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My mom was doing the shoveling food for 3 days. She had a TIA. I'm not a dr n this isn't medical advice, but it was uncharacteristic for my mom. The dr enlightened me n i went to internet for more info. Changes in their normal behavior is always a red flag. Dementia has so many early symptoms. Check with ur mom's Doctor. Blessings..
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Reply to ljcove
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People who have trouble swallowing often pocket their food, especially when there are memory issues. They automatically take a bite, confident that the process will naturally complete itself, and then when it doesn't they're not sure what to do ... so take a second bite.

The hospice folks can provide a swallowing evaluation by a speech therapist -- which might at least tell you what she can manage most easily. Some folks have more trouble with 'smooth' and others with 'chunky' and so on. Lots of people have trouble drinking something that was familiar but is now 'the wrong thickness' because of a thickening agent. It's often easier to offer them a new drink, already thickened, because it won't taste 'wrong', just 'different.'
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Reply to maggiebea
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Lostinthemix, I know a lot of the diseases associated with the elderly are different for everyone. At the same time, wouldn't it be nice to know where we are in the process and what to expect? Too many variables, I guess....

Mom seems to only pocket dinner. She eats sandwiches for lunch and has no problem. She is eating slower at those times than she used to (at dinner she shovels in the food)... She does refuse her pills at dinner, but hasn't done that much in the morning. Putting the pills in pudding helps, but she only has 2 small pills, plus Senna Plus. (The Senna won't dissolve.) I am just at the mindset now to not force her to take her meds. My brother, on the other hand thinks it is worth it...
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Lostinthemix Jun 11, 2018
Yes, it definitely would be nice to know where they are in this. I've said it before, there are too many moving parts. And the medical professionals seem to be just as lost as I feel I am. My Trainor at the insurance company I worked at used to say it is written, but I don't agree in this instance.
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My mil pockets food, pills, etc and has on occasion spit it out. I know because I have found it. She spits it out wherever. I used to just have trouble with her evening pills and just today, it was difficult getting her to take the morning pills.

This has been a journey, for sure.

And now I understand why the friend of mine didn't have any bedding on her bed, even though she's got lots of bedding.

And she suffers from GERD so she must sit up after every meal, which is always a big deal between her and I.

I have no answers for you, just know you're not alone in this journey and every person with this awful disease is at different stages.
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Reply to Lostinthemix
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If your mom is pocketing food..you'll need to swab out her mouth after eating to make sure that all food is out and keep her from aspirating it (breathing it in, causing aspirational pneumonia..when they breath food into their lungs).
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