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Addressing Swallowing Issues Through Alzheimer’s Care

Managing swallowing issues can become even more important and difficult when combined with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia.
Alzheimer's Home Care Newport Beach CA - Addressing Swallowing Issues Through Alzheimer’s Care

There is often a long list of changes the body goes through with age. Those changes ebb and flow depending on a variety of things and may lead to issues with swallowing. Dysphagia—the term for difficulty swallowing—can result from age-related changes in muscle function and neurological disorders. Managing swallowing issues, however, becomes even more important and difficult when combined with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. The good news, however, is that loved ones and seniors can gain much-needed support through Alzheimer’s home care providers.

Recognizing Problems with Swallowing in Seniors

As mentioned, dysphagia may arise from Alzheimer’s disease, but it may also be a side effect of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or stroke, which can weaken the esophageal or throat muscles, as well as age-related modifications to the swallowing mechanism. When seniors struggle with swallowing and Alzheimer’s disease, however, it’s important to understand what is happening and how Alzheimer’s home care can help.

Consider the following when swallowing issues arise:

Cognitive Decline: Alzheimer’s disease gradually reduces one’s ability to think and react as they normally would, which includes swallowing. As the illness worsens, seniors may lose the ability to chew and swallow correctly, which increases the chance of choking or aspirating food.

Motor Impairments: Seniors may find it difficult to coordinate the intricate motions needed for swallowing due to the potential effects of Alzheimer’s on motor coordination and muscle control.

Diminished Sensation: Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may become less sensitive to the textures or temperatures of food, which raises the risk of swallowing issues or refusal to eat certain foods.

Side Effects From Medications: Seniors are often prescribed a variety of medications, especially when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these medications can aggravate pre-existing conditions by causing dry mouth or impairing swallowing ability. This is something an Alzheimer’s home care aide may notice.

Managing Swallowing Problems With the Help of Alzheimer’s Home Care

A holistic approach that takes into account the physical health and well-being of seniors, as well as cognitive decline, is necessary when providing Alzheimer’s home care.

To address swallowing issues, it might be necessary to incorporate the following helpful interventions:

Dietary Modifications: Seniors with impaired swallowing abilities can have their meal plans customized by skilled nursing. This could entail modifying liquid consistencies or food textures (such as pureed or soft foods) to lower the risk of aspiration or choking.

Adaptive Eating Strategies: Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease can eat and drink more safely and comfortably by utilizing strategies like pacing meals, giving verbal cues, and using assistive devices like angled spoons or cups.

Swallowing Therapy: Using specific exercises and techniques, speech-language pathologists can help seniors with Alzheimer’s disease improve their ability to swallow. These experts can also monitor progress over time and instruct those providing daily Alzheimer’s home care on appropriate feeding techniques.

Alzheimer's Home Care Newport Beach CA - Addressing Swallowing Issues Through Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s Home Care Newport Beach CA – Addressing Swallowing Issues Through Alzheimer’s Care

Environmental Changes: Making a dining space that is safe and distraction-free can help seniors with Alzheimer’s have enjoyable mealtimes. If necessary, this may include utilizing adaptive equipment or specialized utensils, keeping seating and positioning correct, and reducing noise.

For seniors, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease, swallowing problems can have a serious negative influence on their health and quality of life. Loved ones, Alzheimer’s home care team, and medical professionals can help reduce the risks associated with dysphagia and encourage safer, more enjoyable mealtimes by putting into practice personalized care strategies that are specific to each senior’s needs.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s Home Care Services in Newport Beach CA, please call the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today! 1-844-CANAAN-1 (1-844-226-2261)

Canaan Home Care – A Premier Provider of Senior Home Care in the La Jolla, Del Mar, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Tustin, and Manhattan Beach areas.

Canaan Home Care Staff

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