Mom has Parkinson's and is diabetic and she's finding it hard to swallow solid foods. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom has Parkinson's and is diabetic and she's finding it hard to swallow solid foods. Any advice?

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She seems to gag when you put solid food in front of her but she will eat soft food.

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She should have a swallow study done to pinpoint the problem, sometimes they can make helpful recommendations. If she is fine with soft foods then you simply need to provide soft foods. My mom does well with a minced diet, her food does not need to be completely pureed. It can be a bit of a pain, but a mini food processor is a great gadget to have, I use it to mince portions of most meals I make. Almost any soup can be whizzed with a stick blender, it's also a great way to include lots of veggies in her diet and it seems more like regular food. Our local meals on wheels has frozen modified meals that can be purchased and are great to have on hand when you are pressed for time or too stressed to cook. If you search on-line there are even cookbooks out there for modified diets and an abundance of specialized food items. You might also need to consider thickening her liquids, once swallowing becomes difficult thin liquids can become a choking hazard. Good luck!
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Avoid fibrous, dry food like pork and beef. Gravy is a real help in moistening food. I used to make chicken soup for my MIL with lots of veggies and meat. Then I'd hit it with the blender so she'd get all the nutrition without choking. Parkinson's affects all muscles so swallow issues are not uncommon.
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