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My mother can either chew or swallow but not both. Water, she swallows after lengthy cajoling. She seems to have forgotten the process. So I am making soup based purees. She still likes savory foods if pureed.

Except pickles and pickled asperagus. Those she will chew and swallow. We think that'd because the taste receptors for sour are do far back that the swallieing mechanism is undeterred.
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When my Mom was in a nursing home, I noticed at dinner time the winner was mash potatoes and gravy.

As Maggie had mentioned above, person's sense of taste is altered... thus you will see elders diving into a pie, cupcake, ice cream, anything Little Debbies because they are still able to taste sugar.
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My mother has been anorexic for years. She has no appetite and has been living on yogurt and ensure and sweets. I notice she doesn't want anything of substance. Now she is in a nursing home, they bring her a lovely meal, she will cut up the meat and push the food around the plate. She puts meat in her mouth, and spits it out. I think if they have no appetite, anything that needs chewing or is too solid is repulsive to them.
Try giving soft foods like yogurt, pudding, applesauce, potatoes, etc.
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Does the person have any medical issues? Could there be a problem with swallowing, chewing or pain in the throat. Why not discuss with their doctor and see if you can find a physical cause. If they have dementia, then they may need an assessment. Here's a link about it.

consultgerirn/uploads/File/trythis/try_this_d11_1.pdf
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Typically older people lose muscle tone in their face and oral areas making it harder to chew and enjoy food. Swallowing is also more difficult as there is less saliva. Often having the individual eat something sweet just before eating a meal will increase the saliva flow making food easier to chew and swallow. Something as simple as a Dum-dum lollipop will help with the eating process. Try not to use a liquid calorie enhancer until after a meal or for a snack (often Ensure or Boost can be used as a "dessert" - especially when mixed with a banana, strawberry, or other fruits - and mixed in a blender like a milkshake).

If the patient has dementia, they may forget how to chew or even have trouble remembering to eat. Another concern may be a hiatal hernia. Check with either a geriatric physician or ENT just to be safe.

Softer foods can help too - such as applesauce, rice, gravy added on top of ground meat, mashed sweet potatoes, jello, etc if chewing or swallowing has become too difficult.
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It could be that a person's sense of taste is altered. It could be they have trouble swallowing, or it's painful to swallow. Could be a problem with their teeth. Could be they don't like what's being offered. Maybe the bites are too big for them to process. Could be that they are in the dying process.

Try one of the high calorie Ensures.
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