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I just got a call today from my mom’s nursing home. They said they were starting her on a puréed food diet because she has not been chewing, but swallowing food whole. They also said she had a choking episode today due to this. I’ve read about the swallowing stopping, but not chewing while the swallowing ability was still active. Has anyone else experienced this with their loved one? I’m just trying to see if I can maybe find out what to expect next.

Another point: I wonder if her brain is not telling her to chew? Perhaps she should be seen by a neurologist.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Make sure they've checked her thoroughly for thrush. The pain in her mouth, and throat, may keep her from chewing, and eventually swallowing.
It was my mom's undoing. They missed it till she couldn't even swallow a drink. I wasn't there, and I'll never get over it.
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Reply to dejawog
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In the progression of Alzheimer's disease, people forget how to eat, which includes forgetting how to chew. Therefore, a pureed diet is perfectly acceptable. After all, this is what we do for our infants and we think nothing of it.
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Reply to dragonflower
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Definitely get her teeth examined. Maybe they are hurting.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Check if her teeth are bothering her
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Reply to marymerry
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When my mother went through this a test called a video fluoroscopy was ordered. She was given various textures of foods and liquids while being monitored on live X-rays to watch how she processed them. All occupational therapists and speech therapists are familiar with this and can help you get it ordered. It’s a good first step in knowing what’s the best diet plan and how to safely feed
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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This is natural disease progression. Purée diet is safe and many folks live a long time on purée and /or even liquid diets.
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Reply to Target456
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I dealt wiyh this with my grandmother. She would either pocket food in her mouth or eventually spit it out. It was as if she forgot to swallow it. I put her on hospice, and we put her on a clear liquid supliment. We did this for 18 months. She would get treats of ice cream or purée fruits that she enjoyed from time to time, but we had to make sure she was swallowing them ok. She actually gained weight when drinking, and didn’t seem to mind it.
Best of luck to you!
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Reply to Kimkmcp
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Nana24 Nov 18, 2018
Would you mind sharing the name of the clear liquid you put your mom on. My mom has been eating a pureed diet for one and a half years now but seems to be losing weight steadily on it. Do you give your mom any of the ensure type drinks also? Thanks.
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You need to have your mother checked with an ENT doctor ( ear,nose,throat) .My grandmother did that and she had ulcers in here mouth and down her throat into her stomach. They said it was some form of the herpes symplex .
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Reply to ERDews
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Sometimes my mom does this too. If someone is monitoring her while she’s eating they can remind her to chew before she swallows. Also, having something to drink alongside her solid food Mya help.
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Reply to Chessa
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Does your Mom wear dentures? My moms were very worn down, almost flat. My dentist was able to refurbish her top plate in a couple of days, with just one trip to the dentist. It did help. Also as people lose weight their dentures tend to slip around, so she now uses Poligrip. I also requested her meats be ground, not because of swallowing issues, but just so her chewing would be easier, and it’s been an amazing difference.
Just a few sueestions if she has dentures
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Reply to rocketjcat
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There are levels of altered diets, before going from normal to full
puree I would want to explore whether she can manage at a lesser level. My mom started choking on meat years before she needed a fully altered diet, (generally meat is the first thing that causes problems with dysphagia because it is the densest and most difficult to chew into the consistency that makes swallowing easy. Providing finely ground moist meats along with a regular diet would be the beginning stage for many, minced moist everything would be the next level before full puree. The sticking point at my mom's nursing home was the "moist" part of the equation, they consistently served foods that had the consistency of dry sawdust🙄. Ask to have her evaluated by a speech and language pathologist, and also look for any dental issues that might effect her chewing ability.
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Reply to cwillie
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