My mom had an OT consult and they suggested she have her fluids nectar consistency. She doesn’t like it. Any suggestions? - AgingCare.com

My mom had an OT consult and they suggested she have her fluids nectar consistency. She doesn’t like it. Any suggestions?

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She wants a normal cup of coffee.

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Yuck, I am on Mom's side even though it might be a bad choice.
I find that taking small sips is the best way or for cold liquids using a straw makes it easier to sip. If you have to tip up a half empty glass you are more likely to take in a big mouthful which will go down "the wrong way"
The advice to sit up straight and tuck your chin is excellent standard advise. Chewing well and eating very tender moist foods also reduces the risk of aspiration.
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My Dad has failed every swallow study for 5 years (they do a new one every time he's hospitalized). He continues to eat an unmodified diet and chokes all the time. Some meals he chokes on every other bite. He's almost 97 and of sound mind. Food is one of his few remaining pleasures and he has chosen to continue to eat and drink what he wans to..
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My friend that is now in skilled care memory floor also has dysphasia. He was suppose to be on puréed foods and thickened liquids last June. When we put him on this diet he stopped eating. They gave me the option of ‘pleasure eating’ which we did. He was fine until a couple weeks ago when he got pneumonia probably from aspiration, along with the RSV virus and CHF and his platelets dropped to 14. They pumped him up in the hospital with antibiotics and blood products. Now he is back to His facility and doing great. He accepted the puréed diet in the hospital and so far we have no issues. They said he could stay on thin liquids. He still aspirates the puréed food, but, it is what it is. One day at a time. I am fortunate he is a pleasant dementia patient since I visit him7 days a week from 1130-630! So bottom line, let them be happy. Why spend your last days, months, years miserable.
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The thing about dysphagia that seems to elude the notice of professionals is that there are often exceptions that can be made without any dire consequences. If your mom enjoys her coffee and is able to drink it without being thickened then let her, I'm pretty sure she will make the choice to stop if it becomes impossible to swallow without choking on every sip!
As for other beverages, water was the first thing that we had trouble with, long before anything else. Many fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies of course are already slightly thickened and may not need to be modified, at least not by much, so feel free to experiment. Drinking through straws worked better for my mom as the change in texture was less noticeable. Nectar thickened hot chocolate is also a good drink that isn't objectionable, perhaps you could make it a mocha.
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MACinCT, she certainly NEEDS to know the risks. But if she is competent, she is the one to decide what she is willing to risk.
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Thick-It has a ready to drink nectar grade Coffee product. Some CVS, Kroger’s & WalMarts carry the Thick It line. Maybe buy a bottle to see if it makes enough of a difference to be worthwhile. Or use it to do a 50/50 blend.

There’s also a bunch of on line vendors if so. It’s not exactly cheap but for a diehard coffee lover probably worth the cost.
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Is mother in her right mind? No dementia? Keep in mind that if she is, she has the right to decide to comply with advice or not.

Make sure she understands the potential risks of having a normal cup of coffee. (Might she choke? Might she aspirate?) If she decides to have her coffee unthickened, make sure she knows the ways to minimize risk, such as sitting up straight and tucking her chin -- or anything the therapist has recommended.

My husband gave a sincere effort to following the recommended "nectar consistency diet," and decided that he would rather take his chances with the risks, and we dropped the diet.

I'm not recommending that, necessarily, just telling you it is possible.

How old is your mom? What is her quality of life like? Is she fairly content in the nursing home? Or is she miserable most days?
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Are you willing to risk aspiration pneumonia as early as within the next couple of days? This NEEDS to be her new reality. Tell her that it won't happen until she gets better and gets the OK by her speech therapist recommendation
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As several of you have posted, if your mother is capable of understanding the risks, she has a right to decline recommendations by a professional. To her, coffee is one of her pleasures, and therefore, is important for her quality of life.

Even in cases where a person may not be able to fully comprehend risks, if it comes down to a choice of the person eating/drinking what they want, or malnutrition/dehydration due to refusal, allowing preferences must be considered.
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You haven't got that quite right Creativone, occupational therapists deal with the mechanical means to solve problems and remove barriers, they are the ones who can assess and recommend assistive devices. I do agree though that they would not normally be the person to give advice about thickened beverages and modified diets.
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