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Recently my mother stores food in her cheek like a chipmunk. I am not sure how to get the food out. I do notice that in the morning the food is on the sheet next to her head. Has anyone encountered this? Should I just serve her fluids? She is a senior who has survived a TIA and was diagnosed slow onset dementia.

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Good news. I ask mom to sip water after each bite and she swallows.

Many, many thanks.
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My Mom began to do the same thing as she has dementia and started having problems swallowing and food was going down the wrong pipe. She would cough while eating; very scary. So, I had hospice/NH move her to pureed food and thinkit with her liquids. She is eating so much better and getting many more nutrients than she did while eating whole food.
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Hi marie16,

My Dad does the exact same thing. It has been going on for about 6 months I'd say, or perhaps longer. At every meal he takes a bite and chews. He then puts another spoonful of food in his mouth, without swallowing the first bite, and continues to chew. He does this the entire meal. He might swallow a little, but most of it ends up in one cheek, which pouches out. My Mom has said he looks like a chipmunk hoarding its food, so your post caught my eye immediately! When the meal is finally over Dad still continues to chew and chew. We finally got in the habit of telling him to take a drink of water, swish it around in his mouth and swallow. We try to get him to do this at least twice once he's finished eating. Oddly enough, while he often doesn't want to do anything he's asked to do, he will actually do this. If he doesn't, some of the food just remains in his mouth and is still there when he brushes his teeth in the evening! You might try this with your Mom. Also, you might try giving her ice cream for dessert if she likes it. My Dad will eat ice cream if nothing else, and he actually swallows it, so I think it helps take the rest of the food down with it. One of the Alzheimer's sites I go to for info says that this problem is called 'pocketing' and that it occurs as the disease progresses because the patient forgets the need to swallow.
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