swallowing !


Registered User
Apr 4, 2004
My mother (age 83 ) (who is in a brilliant home in the north west) has vascular dementia (plus a chest infection and diarrhoea at the moment ) and seems to have difficulty swallowing - ie she keeps food in her mouth and piles in other mouthfuls without swallowing what is in there already - as a result she chokes/eats very little. Her weight has gone down from 8 stone 11 to 7 stone 6 in 10 months and she looks absolutelely knackered.. doesn't know who I am etc..

Advice please !

Sarah xx


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Sarah,

There is a very good web page that describes swallowing difficulties in people with dementia which has been written by a speech and language therapist. You can find it here:

Swallowing problems for those with dementia

If your mother is coughing while eating it could indicate that some food is "going down the wrong way" - another part of the swallowing process. The dangers of food particles making their way to the airway/lungs is that they can provide a medium allowing bacteria to grow, and making chest infections more likely.

The Alzheimer's Society also has a fact sheet on eating and nutrition that includes a section on poor appetite and difficulties swallowing. You can find it here:

Fact sheet on eating and nutrition

Their recommendation for swallowing difficulties is to get the advice of a speech and language therapist.

Hope this is helpful in some way.

Take care,