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My mother is 106 and suddenly started refusing solid foods. She spits them out. We have begun to blend and puree everything and that seems to work well. However, we want to try and add a protein supplement to add to her food. What is the most palatable, nutritious and safest one on the market? There are so many that it is confusing. Whey protein best? Thanks for help. Mom will be 107 in November by the way. She is very healthy but not mobile anymore, so we have thre paid caregivers as well as my sister and myself to care for her. We want to keep her as safe and comfortable as we can until she leaves us.

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I would consult with professionals about protein powders/supplements. They can have a negative impact and can cause extreme constipation in some people.
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Hi Sylvia1323,

As our loved ones age, they may experience difficulty chewing and swallowing called dysphagia. You do not specify if your mother has dementia, but this complication is especially prevalent in individuals who are in the middle and later stages.

A pureed diet may be just fine, but if you haven't already, I would suggest consulting with a speech-language pathologist to ensure that you are giving her foods and liquids at the right consistency in order to prevent aspiration. This can lead to pneumonia, which can be fatal. There are different levels of dysphagia, and depending on a patient's abilities, they may require pureed, nectar-like, honey-like or spoon-thick foods for safe consumption.

I also second Pam's recommendation to have any supplements approved by her doctor and/or a registered dietitian beforehand to prevent any problems. There are many different supplements available on the market, but sometimes adding real, wholesome ingredients like peanut butter or Greek yogurt can cause less problems and also offer other nutrients and vitamins that an elder needs.

The articles below might be able to help you find some dietary solutions for your mother:

Dysphagia: How to Help a Loved One Eat and Drink Safely
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/dysphagia-how-to-help-a-loved-one-eat-and-drink-safely-187010.htm

Tips for Choosing and Using Food and Beverage Thickeners
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Swallowing-Disorders-Tips-for-Using-Food-and-Beverage-Thickeners-208048.htm

How to Sneak Calories and Nutrients into a Loved One's Diet
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Pro-Tips-Sneaking-Calories-Nutrients-into-a-Seniors-Diet-208396.htm

I hope this helps! It sounds like you are providing excellent care for your mom. Best of luck to you and your family.

-AgingCareEditor
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I would ask the MD if a protein supplement is OK. Many times with a patient her age (WOW! amazing!) there is some decline in kidney function. In that case she would need a renal diet with limited protein, but higher fat content. It's important that a nutritionist look over her history and her medications, then make a recommendation.
If she were my Grandma, I would avoid the protein supplements to save her kidneys and look for easily digested fats like coconut or olive oil
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