My mom is 87, has had a stroke and is having trouble swallowing. She is on a soft diet and we have tried thickening it but how can I give her more nutrition? - AgingCare.com

My mom is 87, has had a stroke and is having trouble swallowing. She is on a soft diet and we have tried thickening it but how can I give her more nutrition?

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Boost makes a Very High Calorie shake - it is 530 calories in a small pack. It is best if it is kept cold and not taken all at once as it has a higher fat content along with really good protein. The vanilla is good as a cream substitute over apple / fruit compote or oatmeal instead of milk. Case price varies - shop online and compare before buying.
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You need to take her to a doc. There are 2 kinds of throat problems. you need to find out if her throat is too small or if she needs to begin exercise that will improve her swallowing. My 88 year old father just went through this and he is swallowing much better because of the throat exercises and electric stimulation done at a therapy clinic.
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Carol, my Moms doctor sent over a speech therapist here when my Mom was sick last Spring with a bronchial infection because I had no way to get her into a car. The suggestions I was given is to get the cans of soaked soft foods like chef boyardee raviolli, canned lasagna, spaghettios with meatballs, healthy choice beef pot roast (can), sweet potato (cardboard microwavable package) and anything canned or frozen. I put each canned product in the cussinart and puree it to a smooth thick consistancy. I then put them into small containers and freeze and label. I also do canned or frozen thawed peaches, fruit cocktail, boiled chicken microwaveable hambuger helper containers, squash, mashed potaotes, and mac and cheese. I make up a good week or two at a time and just mic them for her supper. I even make up french toasts ahead and freeze them up, sometimes I puree them but usually she can eat them ok with syrup. (you can purree eggo cinnamon frozen waffles (thawed) and add syrup as blending, and freeze . She also loves those friendlys frozen sundaes and yoplait whipped yogurts. For drinks she only drinks warm things like decaf tea or coffee with 2 tablespoons of thick-it. The ST also told me to not use straws as it hits the back of their throat too fast causing them to choke and it can cause pneumonia in their lungs. Good Luck, I hope this helps you some.
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Boost, ensure, carnation breakfast shakes, etc. Don't use them as a meal, but as a snack in between meals as a supplement. My daughter had jaw surgery and had to be on a liquid/soft diet for 6 weeks, then my son broke his jaw and had to have it surgically repaired! we got a lot of practice with soft diets! Things like yogurt are also good. Cottage cheese. pudding made with ensure or boost. These are things that can be good, as they are "normal" foods and more readily acceptable then things like pureed food. ;) Use your imagination and come up with things that are tasty and appealing.
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I would check with a dietician or have your family doctor make recommendations on what she may need nutritionally.
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My mother in law basically is also on a soft diet and I basically blend everything we eat. For instance if I make spaghetti I put in like a cup of it plus ill add in a few boiled vegetables like squash or carrots etc., with a little water to blend well and some thick it to the right consistency it comes out perfect every time! If you make like fried or baked chicken just take off skin and shred some into blender along with your side dishes . With me I do that for my MIL and I add maybe apple sauce or yogurt on the side. And snack time I give her sugar free puddings and or glycerina. Dr. Said she's doing great! Aside from her severe Dementia my 89 mother in law is very healthy. You will see a change for sure! Good luck.
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Ensure muscle. It has a lot of protein in one can. That is what our doctor recommended. At least one a day, but two would be better he said.
My daughter says protein powder in pudding.
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Boost.....chocolate is my favorite. Mix two heaping teaspoons in a glass of 2% fat milk, twice per day. Jeanne's suggestions are good also.
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Are you putting regular food in a blender? For example, chicken noodle soup is still tasty after it has been blended. Cream soups that have chunks in them, like cream of broccoli, can be blended, too. The blender and food processor are your friends!
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