Choking while eating is something that you definitely want to avoid for your senior. These common causes are some of the biggest factors to be on the lookout for as she eats.
Sticky, Dry, or Extra Chewy Foods
Little details about the food itself can pose a possible choking hazard for your senior. If the food is too dry, sticky, or needs a lot of chewing to be able to swallow, your elderly family member might have some extra trouble. Start keeping track of which foods seem to give her the most trouble and modify them or leave them out, if possible.
If the foods aren’t ones that are extra chewy, your senior may be having trouble chewing at all. That can cause her to take bites that are way too big. Chewing issues are usually a result of dental or general mouth problems, so it’s a good idea to talk to your elderly family member’s dentist about what could be contributing to this difficulty.
Trying to Eat Too Much All at Once
Sometimes the problem is that your elderly family member is trying to eat too much at one time. Smaller foods that look like they will be fine two and three at a time might be more than she can really handle all at once. Encouraging your elderly family member to take her time while eating is also a good idea.
Eating While Talking
If your elderly family member likes to talk while she’s having a meal or a snack, that’s not unusual. Unfortunately, though, that can contribute to problems with choking. The problem is especially difficult for people who already have issues chewing foods. Restricting conversation to only when your elderly family member doesn’t have food in her mouth is one way to still eat and talk, but safely.
Anything That Leaves Her Too Relaxed
If your elderly family member takes medications that relax her a little too much or if she enjoys an alcoholic drink or two with her meal, she may find that those contribute to trouble with food occasionally. It might be a good idea for her to take those medications after she eats or to tread a little lighter with the alcohol.
This can be a common problem for older adults, even when your senior is taking precautions. If she lives alone, meals might be a scary time for her. It can help to have home care providers available around meals, just in case something might happen when your elderly family member is eating.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Lake Forest, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.