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When eating she confuses chewing with swallowing. She chews & chews & chews (even soup) & at times only partially swallows. She holds food & drink in her mouth before swallowing & as a result sometimes chokes or spits it back into her mouth & tries to swallow again. I give her only soft foods, soups, cut sandwiches in quarters.

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This is called a "delayed initiation of swallow" in dysphagia. Definitely have her evaluated by a speech pathologist, they can determine the best strategies to help her. You might want to read up on dysphagia in general as well.
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We are entering this phase right now. She is also pocketing food. I've had to quit giving her some of her meds and look for chewables because she was trying to chew them. Me yelling "swallow, swallow" at her wasn't helping (grin). I guess I am going to have to ask home health for the speech therapist to do her evaluation. It is a trial for sure.

To assist in her eating, I've been cutting up food into small bites. Then, I read that can lead to pocketing as they don't see the small bites as something that needs to be chewed. I've googled and googled. I think now it's time for action.

She has been drinking through a straw for at least a year because she can't lean her head back enough. We already tried the Nosey cups and they worked for a while, but now we are beyond even them. Eating and drinking are basic functions to sustain life, and it is so challenging right now.
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A symptom of late stage dementia is losing the ability to swallow. It can appear like she forgets how to, but really her brain no longer has that autonomic ability as a younger person does. You can take her for a swallow study. This would be very valuable as it will allow a doctor to assess what her ability is, and recommend how to feed her (thickened liquids is often the first step, or potentially through a feeding tube). This isn't something you can train her or teach her to do. Her brain is damaged.

Angel
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Oh *heck*. This sounds like very advanced dementia - it's certainly beyond my experience. Would using a straw for drinks, and offering solid foods completely separate from anything drinkable, help to emphasise the difference? I hope others will have proven methods to share; meanwhile, have you consulted your healthcare team?
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