Follow
Share

Dad's always been a huge eater - even at 98. Recently he seems to be trying to chew everything into a liquid, which doesn't really work with meat. One bite might take 15 minutes. He gets tired before he can finish. Should I start pureeing everything? I hate to do this since eating seems to be one of the few things he still enjoys. A few months ago we started with Thick It to nectar. Since then he hasn't choked. But he's never choked on solid foods. Has anyone else had experience with anything like this?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
A swallow study can help find out what the problem is. It could be his teeth, or it could be difficulty initiating the swallow reflex due to stroke or just advanced dementia. You may not need to move to pureed foods yet, just make sure the texture of the foods you are serving requires minimal chewing. Your pulled pork will still taste delicious if it is minced finely and includes lots of sauce and if you make sure the side veggies are very well done he may still be able to handle that. Encourage him to have a drink between bites. You can include lots of fruit in baked desserts and custards. Modified diets don't have to be a mound of tasteless mush. As jeannegibbs says, some foods are naturally easier to eat. Experiment.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom ate very well however I would put a small piece if meatloaf on fork eith mashed potatoes. When I noticed her chewing a lot i would let her know it was ok to swallow. Sometimes I think she would forget . I had much success if I did nothing but sit with her. She could not feed herself. I would say let me know when you are ready for more. Would make a point of offering a drink or bite each time. I noticed she rarely choked on food but was more common with cold liquids. As the others stated above, she loved her milkshakes. When mom was in the last few days of life, rather then wetting a sponge on a stick i put a Popsicle to her tongue and lips, was quite suprised she started sucking on it. She had no solids or fluid for 10 days.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Like the others have suggested, the Ensure or Boost blended with ice cream, peanut butter, all kinds of creative good healthy foods has been a Godsend for my Mama.

One thing I don't think I saw and don't know your situation, but does your Dad still have most or all of his teeth? Mama did (at age 90) and she went from enjoying full normal meals to, as you said, chewing and chewing and chewing and I had to hold the spoon and feed her each bite. Meal.time became a nightmare...as it turns out, she had a bad tooth and it finally abcessed and looking back that may have been part of that issue...now later on she had surgery and following the anesthesia, which she had never had a problem with before, this time she went from eat normal food to never wanting anything but mildshake type drinks again...

So like the others I had to get creative. I have blended her vanilla ensure with everything from Instant breakfast, yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, apples, applesauce, baby foods of all kinds, natural honey, all kinds of things in different combinations that bump up the calories and nutrition and Mama has been on that type of total liquid diet now for over a year and has not lost one ounce...and she seems satisfied and enjoys her "meals"...I feel for you...just thought of the tooth issue so thought I'd toss that out there...also we found one of her ear canals had a good bit of wax buildup that caused some soreness in the side of her face and all kinds of things that can cause issues that I would have never thought of before...

Now i find myself checking out things that used to, I would never have put them together....good luck...I understand the dilemma...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I did an evaluation one time for a man who took so long to eat breakfast he ate into the noon hour, then his wife started plying him with noontime foods! The man never got away from the kitchen table!

I would take jeannegibbs' suggestion. Don't give him a piece of steak to eat but nourish him with yummy, healthy, and thick milkshakes. My dad used to love orange juice but it became too acidic on his tummy so I plopped a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it and that did the trick.

Get creative.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

cjdux26, my husband hated Boost, etc. but they were a fine addition to his milk shakes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I hope that works. We got to a point where the RC (rehab center) wouldn't let him even try real food because they were afraid he'd choke. Meanwhile, he was alert enough to know he didn't want to just suck water!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks. The idea of pulled pork (tonight's dinner) pureed was horrible, but a milk shake with peanut butter and banana is something I wouldn't mind having right now! Bet adding an Ensure/Boost type drink would also work to increase protein.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I just ran across this site but -
before my dad died he had a hard time eating- he had always enjoyed restaurants and mama's cooking before. when he quit eating some doctors thought it wasn;t and issue and some thought it was all about appetite stimulation and blah blah blah. Until we had a test done and they realized he'd had a stroke (unknown to anybody) that had caused some paralysis of his throat. If only we had known what the real problem was... no one knew.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Food gives him pleasure. I sure get that. But sitting and eating for an hour and half probably isn't so pleasant.

My husband loved milk shakes when it became harder for him to chew. A banana, ice cream, a big blob of peanut butter, and some chocolate syrup in a blender and he had an Elvis special! Sometimes we added an envelop of Carnation Instant Breakfast (they've changed the name -- I forget what it is now.) Peaches with vanilla ice cream was a favorite, too. And along with it a soft cookie.

My husband HATED pureed food. He didn't want "baby food" for dinner. But if a soup with chunks gave him trouble, creating "cream" soup in the blender was fine. Scrambled eggs don't take much chewing. Cottage cheese worked for him.

Experiment. Dad may not object to pureed food. He might like the occasional milk shake. He might prefer cream of chicken soup instead of struggling with eating a chicken leg.

I wouldn't be terribly worried about his nutrition at this point -- just his pleasure and his safety.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.