1. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    My father-in-law choked badly when eating lunch with us today, and the warden at his care home says this has been happening quite often when the residents have communal lunch.

    I've just read that this can be associated with dementia - because a person may forget how to chew and swallow.

    Does anyone else care for somebody who has this problem?
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    You should ask the SALT team to assess him - he might need to have his food puréed to make it easier for him to swallow.
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    It is very common. As Beate says, the SALT team (speech and language therapy) should assess him (and frankly I would have expected the home to suggest this), although I'm wondering if this is more sheltered housing than a care home. Contact his GP and ask them to arrange an urgent referral to SALT.
  4. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    A lot of people with dementia develop swallowing problems.

    I wouldn't say that a swallowing problem was indicative of dementia though, without other signs/symptoms. Its certainly not one of the early signs.
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Oh - good point. I read it that Mrs Moose's FIL had dementia, but it's quite possible that I was jumping to conclusions.
  6. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    He does have dementia. He's living in sheltered accommodation and is 94. It's partly that he is just so old and everything is going - physically and mentally.

    According to the warden, the choking at lunch has happened three times in the last six weeks. As well as with us today. It's also a problem in that he gets very embarrassed and then goes to his room - or at house went to the living room - and won't eat any more.

    I think any suggestion that he had his food pureed would meet with absolute fury. He enjoys food - though not the choking. He's the type who won't wear his hearing aid - because it will make him look old. Or take the lift because that would mean he had got old.

    He's only just been to the GP, but it does sound like something to mention on a subsequent visit.
  7. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    He could have a soft diet which is not as far as being puréed. It is important that he is not choking and inhaling food. Inhaling food can lead to aspirational pneumonia.
  8. Taximan

    Taximan Registered User

    Mar 31, 2015
    Not eating properly

    My wife was always a good cook,and we entertained on a regular basis,however her cooking skills are virtually non-existent.She gets up early and prepares lunch/dinner,but it is always the same,new potatoes cut small,a bit like the way she treats her food,chopped up small,as if feeding a child,frozen peas,which she didn't used to like too much,carrots,and greens,every day the same,I have asked her to leave it to me,as she also makes a cup of bisto gravy granules(chicken variety)to go with every single meal.I have now taken over as much of the preparation and cooking as I can,I try to vary our meals,and always ask her what she would like,I vary rarely get a responsive reply,she just says that would be nice.We have things like fish,steak,gammon,chicken,cooked various ways,she likes curry,which I go out and get for her once a week.But my problem is,she isn't eating it.I discovered that she puts the food in her mouth,chews it into a ball,and then when she thinks I am not looking,she wraps it up in her napkin,and then it is thrown away.So you see it is very difficult to know how much she is eating exactly,I'm at my wits end as to what to give her.We've had a few episodes involving alcohol,that has been banned,she seems to accept this,but has now become addicted to Dry ginger,which she used to drink with scotch,but seems now to be happy to drink it on it's own.I suppose I should be happy that she is off the scotch,but I'm not sure drinking a litre of dry ginger everyday is a good thing.All in all she has lost two stone,from being close to ten stone,she is now under eight.I've been to the doctor,and am awaiting test results of blood and an x-ray.Any thoughts,or advice appreciated.
  9. Leswi

    Leswi Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    Mrs moose a soft diet can include meals such as shepherds pie, fish without bones, well cooked veg, porridge, milky desserts and soft fruits. Avoid chunks of meat and dry crunchy foods. Favourite foods can be modified slightly. Add plenty of butter to bread for sandwiches etc. drinks might need thickening too and the Local NHS dietitian so will have an information sheet and prescribe a thickening powder.Sometimes lack of concentration can be a problem which might be made worse in the group situation. Taximan .. this too is common. Milk based thickened drinks with vitamin and mineral powders added can help make sure nutritional needs are met, or soups with added sachets which a GP or dietitian will prescribe.
  10. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    That's useful advice re the soft food. As he is in sheltered accommodation for the elderly, the communal lunches will have well-cooked meat, veg etc. This probably helps - but even so he is choking sometimes.

    Yesterday we'd served a chicken casserole, and I think he'd cut his portion of chicken breast into quite big pieces. We'd also served carrot cut into slices - and it seemed to be a piece of carrot, that caused the problem. We can certainly look at what we serve him here on future occasions. As well as staying in touch with the warden, to discuss the issues that are coming up there.

    I think she is particularly concerned that when it's happened he wants to retreat to his room. As lunch is his only proper meal of the day, this means he may be going short of food.

    However, his morning carer is now making him a sandwich because he kept forgetting to make himself any breakfast
  11. Bill Owen

    Bill Owen Registered User

    Feb 17, 2014
    yes my wife

    you will need to have get in touch with doc he will put you in touch with a spclist sorry about the spling im dislx .I did this with my wife
  12. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    B has this problem with the Parkinson's, the SALT team have assessed and so we use soft meals, not just puried yet, but I think not far away. I also find that anything over spicy or strong tasting affects his swallowing.

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