Swallowing problems


Registered User
Apr 13, 2013
My mum has both Alzheimer's and Vascular dementia. Over the last couple of years she has had several chest infections - only now it seems this has been a problem caused by fluids going into her lungs when she swallows.

She has now had a swallowing assessment which states she has 'demonstrated rapid bolus transfer placing her at risk of aspiration'. Can anyone tell me what that means please?


Registered User
Apr 10, 2013

]My husband also has swallow problems and has been assessed. The whole swallow process although apparently effortless to most people is very complicated. I found this article which you may find useful.

Thank you chrisuz - I am new to this wonderful forum and wanted to ask if swallowing pills is a problem as suddenly my dad is anxious and scared of taking pills.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2010
Hi there

My MIL has recently developed swallowing problems (she is in a NH) and the home called out the SALT (speech and language therapist) to see if they could help. She now has her food puréed, and any drinks are thickened with a powder to aid swallowing. I must admit it makes a cup of tea extremely unappetising to look at, but MIL hasn't noticed anything. We visited at lunchtime last week and found the whole experience distressing, as despite the food being puréed , she was still choking. The home are keeping a close eye on her - she has already had 3 chest infections this year, all probably caused by aspiration (food going into her lungs)


Registered User
May 29, 2012
East Yorkshire
My husband has Ftd with possibllity of motor neurone, this has caused muscle weakness all over his body with one of the results being swallow problems, for him thickened drinks would make the problem worse as they would mean he had to work harder. Pills we have found go down easier on a spoon of apple puree, we also have found if he feels something has stuck in his throat lemonade works better than water to move it.


Registered User
Nov 17, 2011
My FIL was unabel to swallow and therefore was given his food pureed at his care home. It was a great help in getting him to eat (he liked his food) but without causing distress when he choked on chunks of food. :)


Account Closed
May 1, 2013
Swallowing problems can result from a combination of factors from changes in cognition, compromised respiratory system, onset of degenerative disease, etc. However, they all have one thing in common, they need therapy. Some of the therapies available include diet modifications (thickened fluids and mechanically altered consistency of food), strengthening exercises and modalities (myofascial release and Vital stim):).


Registered User
Feb 2, 2013
Has pureed liquid but still demands water

My mum has alzheimers and was admitted to hospital this week with heart & kidney problems after a long weekend in bed, in the feotal position, refusing food and too weak to move. I had to lift her onto a makeshift lavatory.

She has difficulty swallowing, has been assessed by SALT team and is being fed pureed liquid as described above but is constantly demanding water - ie ordinary water not thickened. She can not have this because she can not swallow safely and chokes on the pureed liquid. She believes that she can swallow properly.

As soon as she finishes the liquid feed she starts shouting for water but suddenly appears to collapse, goes silent with head down, then comes alert again and starts off asking for water.

Nothing will convince her that she has had more than enough water and that the nurses and doctors know what they are doing. She insists that her mouth and throat are dry even though we can see that her tongue is wet.

Is this a sign that she is in the final stages of dementia?
is there any way of diverting her mind off the water wheel?

I know it is a cliche that nurses are angels but they certainly are in this case. The dedication and patience they show really is wonderful. I am only sorry that forum rules prevent me identifying them.
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