Concerned about Choking? Mealtime Tips for Safer Swallowing

Growing older affects the body’s ability to get vital nutrition and stay hydrated - from a reduced sense of smell and taste to slowed digestion to changes of the swallowing reflex.  Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulty chewing and swallowing.  It may be caused by physiological changes from age or chronic disease like Alzheimer’s.  As many as 600,000 people are affected each year, with that number growing as baby boomers continue to live longer.

 Individuals advanced in age, with late-stage dementia, those who have suffered a stroke or with Parkinson’s or other neurological conditions are at highest risk for dysphagia and related complications. 

While the term dysphagia sounds technical and complex, caregivers can take simple steps to lessen the risk through changes to food choice, texture and mealtime management. Continue reading to learn more.

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