When the action of eating is difficult or downright painful, your senior may start avoiding eating completely. That won’t be a long-term option for her, of course, so it’s important to figure out what’s causing the difficulty and work around it. Some of these options might be exactly what she needs.
Get Specific Tips from Her Doctor
Especially if this is a new problem for your aging adult, it’s important to talk with her doctor about what’s going on. There may be medication complications or health conditions that are making the problem worse. Also, the more difficult it is to swallow, the more nervous your aging adult may be about even attempting to swallow. Her doctor may be able to recommend treatments or medications that help her to eat well every day.
Try Including More Liquids at Meals
People who have difficulty swallowing often have a dry mouth and aren’t able to work up enough saliva to help the food travel down the esophagus. If that’s the case for your elderly family member, then including more beverage options can help. Also consider offering foods that are softer or liquid themselves to help ease the difficulty in swallowing.
Make Meals as Relaxing as Possible
If meal time is stressful, then swallowing will be, too. Look at all of the different ways that you can make meals more enjoyable and relaxing for your aging family member. Remove all pressure about eating from the equation, since that can make everything worse. If music or the television work as a distraction, consider using them.
Let Other People Know What Works
As you and your aging adult learn about what works and what doesn’t, you can pass along that information to other people who help, such as home care providers. Elder care providers can also help you to figure out what works and what doesn’t in your senior’s specific situation. The more that you try, the greater the likelihood that you’ll land on techniques and tricks that work well for your aging family member.
Once you learn more about how to make eating easier for your elderly family member, she may feel less concerned about eating more regularly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Rolling Meadows, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.
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