Your elderly family member might develop dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, for a variety of reasons. What’s really important in managing dysphagia is ensuring that your senior is able to eat in order to get the nutrition that she needs. This might mean looking at food and meals a little bit differently since liquids need to be thicker and solid foods might be too difficult.
Consider What Vegetables and Fruits Can Be Pureed
Vegetables and fruits lend themselves well to purees, which can be thick enough for your senior to eat easily. Cooked beans, spinach, broccoli, and squashes are all full of vitamins and other nutrients that your elderly family member needs. When cooked, they’re also very easy to puree into a thick soup. Fruits are easy to turn into a fruit soup or to add to a smoothie or shake.
Healthy Fats Are a Great Idea
When calories need to count, don’t overlook healthy fats. Avocados, nut butters, and Greek yogurt are excellent choices. These foods have plenty of protein and fiber, but they’re also high in the types of fats that your senior needs in order to stay healthy. They’re also filling and can help your elderly family member to avoid losing too much weight.
Shakes and Smoothies May Work Well
One of the biggest staples of your senior’s new diet might be smoothies and shakes. While commercial nutritional shakes are plentiful on the market, they’re not always a great idea. They tend to contain a lot of sugar and possibly other ingredients that aren’t a good choice for your senior. Homemade shakes can include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and you can customize them every day for your senior’s tastes.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor for Additional Ideas
It’s really important to consider your senior’s overall health and not just getting more calories into her however you can. That can be one goal, but her other health issues may mean that certain foods just aren’t a good idea no matter how they’re prepared. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what she should be eating and what alternatives might work best for her.
This new way of eating in order to keep your senior nourished while she deals with dysphagia can be complicated for both of you. It can help to have home care providers there to help your senior with meal preparation and even with eating if that has become a challenge, too.