1. PLWDcarer

    PLWDcarer New member

    Oct 18, 2019
    1
    My Dad has vascular dementia on top of a previous traumatic brain injury. Over the last few months he is having increasing problems with swallowing. Sometimes he's in too much of a hurry and swallows before the food is properly chewed. Other times he keeps adding in more food then choking as he tries to swallow too much at once. We've tried to slow him down, give smaller portions, softer food etc - sometimes that works, sometimes not. We also try to be relaxed at meals and not make him anxious about it, but am concerned if this problem progresses.

    I have been recommended perhaps talking to a speech and language therapist? Anyone got experience of swallowing problems in the person they look after? Any tips or advice gratefully received!
     
  2. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    668
    Female
    cornwall
    Yes .My dad has VD as well and he has problems swallowing with liquids and food.One day he put in a whole mouthful of food in one go,and then struggled.I nearly had a stroke myself!
    I have got thick and easy from SALT for when he struggles to swallow.
    I also wheel him in the wheelchair to the dining room so he can eat better.
    I have him on a soft diet (put on after his stroke in hospital)
    Also I have a red dementia cup which has a white cone in the middle and a lid if needed.PWD can see the colour red better and the cup is easier for them to lift and drink from(eBay)

    Dad also has a plastic plate with a lip at the end and a sticky bottom.Slows down the eating.Plus I sit and eat with him and monitor him..I hope this is of some use.
     
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,077
    Yorkshire
    hello @PLWDcarer
    a warm welcome to DTP
    sadly, problems with eating and swallowing are not uncommon
    do arrange with your dad's GP for a referral to the SALT team; it's definitely worth having your dad checked over
     
  4. rainbowcat

    rainbowcat Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    136
    Female
    This is very common, definitely ask for a SALT (Speech And Language Therapy) referral.

    My father does all the things you say - while waiting for SALT, try just giving him a "Level 6 - Soft & Bitesize" diet (google it for full info) which should help with him choking. This is cutting food to bite size (no bigger than thumbnail size pieces), making food that is soft (ie steamed fish, mash potato) and also adding sauce like gravy, cheese sauce, parsley sauce, etc, to make it tasty and wet. He might still cough/choke, but his airways will stay open as it's not hard/claggy food going down.

    Also try to observe (and correct) his eating position. My father would lay right back in his armchair so that he was virtually horizontal, then choke on the food that he was shovelling in. His stay in hospital and move to residential care - where they have high-backed armchairs rather than cosy plush armchairs to sink back into - has ended this issue! So if you can try to keep your dad as upright as poss while eating, that would help a lot with food intake/reducing choking/helping swallow. But do get SALT to assess him as he may well need a softer diet than my advice.
     

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