Millions of elderly Americans have trouble swallowing food and liquids, a condition that’s known as dysphagia. When not properly addressed, a senior’s swallowing impairment can lead to more serious health problems like dehydration, malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia.
If you are currently caring for an aging in place loved one with dysphagia, preparing them some appetizing and nutritious foods that are also easy to swallow can be challenging. To assist your efforts, here are 5 tasty meal ideas that will keep their body hydrated and healthier.
What Causes Dysphagia?
In addition to having trouble swallowing saliva, food and liquids, many dysphagic seniors also experience pain when trying to do so. Dysphagia occurs when the muscles and nerves that control swallowing get damaged or become weakened because of one or more of these factors:
- An injury to the head, back or neck
- Diseases of the central nervous system, like Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy or MS
- Dementia, memory loss and cognitive decline
- An infection or irritation in the esophagus
- Cancer in the neck, chest or head
Unfortunately, if a dysphagic senior is still living at home, not being able to take in the liquids and nutrients their body needs can quickly place their freedom and independence at risk.
5 Simple Recipes for Seniors with Dysphagia
While caring for a senior with dysphagia, providing their body with the vital liquids, calories and