Do you have an elderly loved one who has trouble swallowing? It may feel like your senior mom or dad can’t swallow any food you cook or like they can’t sit down for family dinners with you. Luckily, there are certain foods a senior can eat, even with issues swallowing. You can strategically mix easy-to-eat foods with the rest of the dinner you make for the family.
Some older folks may find it difficult to swallow food or liquids. Dysphagia is a potentially fatal illness that may result in malnutrition, dehydration, or aspiration pneumonia. Dysphagia is a painful condition for the individual who has it. Similarly, seeing a loved one suffer from dysphagia may be unpleasant.
Foods mashed or mixed into a soft texture are included in the soft diet. A soft diet allows you to consume all of the main food categories. As a result, it may be just as nutrient-dense as any other diet. You will need to prepare easy-to-swallow meals that offer a balanced diet rich in the daily calories and nutrients required by a senior with dysphagia. These foods should come from a variety of food categories. The following are some dietary guidelines organized by food category.
Dairy Products Can be Good for Seniors
Most dairy products taste yummy and are a healthy option for seniors. They tend to be easy to swallow, making it easier for seniors to consume when they have swallowing problems. Next time in-home care professionals take your senior to the store, ask them to ensure they pick up things like yogurt, pudding, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and custards. This will add healthy calories to your senior’s diet, and they should feel full after.
Ensure you avoid yogurt with granola and string cheese. This may seem like a good option for seniors, but these foods can get stuck in their throats and make things worse. It’s time to start keeping a list of what seniors can eat and foods they cannot eat.
Buy More Fruits
Most fruits are easy to chew and easy to swallow. Not to mention they taste yummy no matter what you do. However, there are a few fruits that should be avoided. Fruits like pineapples, fruits with seeds, and dried fruits can be harder to swallow. Instead, opt for ripe bananas, applesauce, cooked pears with cheese, cut grapes, and ripened kiwi.
Always Try to Add in Vegetables
Vegetables should be included in a balanced diet in various ways, so be creative with them. Green smoothies are an excellent method to increase your vegetable consumption. Add agave syrup or honey to make them sweeter. Most vegetables will be fine for seniors to consume if they are roasted and soft enough to chew thoroughly and swallow. A smoothie will be fine if this is even too much for a senior. Minced vegetables may also be a very good option for seniors, as also finely chopped salads. Certain vegetables a senior should avoid, like crispy potatoes, stringy vegetables, raw vegetables, and corn with whole kernels.
Not all of you can be with your elderly loved one every day, and you may be worried about whether or not they’re getting the proper nutrition each day. It’s time to look into in-home care professionals to help ensure your senior mom or dad is eating the right food. This small act will help your mom or dad live better and longer.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering In-Home Care in Lake Oswego, OR please contact the caring staff at Home Matters Caregiving today. 503-352-5634