Five Things To Do To Make Sure That Individuals With Dysphagia Are Getting Enough To Eat

One of the biggest challenges of dealing with a dysphagia patient is ensuring that they're taking in enough nutrients. Dysphagia makes eating challenging for patients because it makes it painful or difficult for patients to swallow.

Putting food thickener in foods can make these foods more easy for dysphagia patients to swallow. If you're looking for more ways to help dysphagia patients consume enough nutritious food, consider doing the following five things:

Allowing patients to eat outside of mealtimes

Patients with dysphagia can sometimes get tired out while eating due to the challenges of swallowing.

Eating numerous small meals throughout the day can be better than eating three big meals to help patients get as much food down as possible in a day. Allow patients to take a break and have a snack in between meals if they are becoming tired when trying to eat. 

Giving patients the freedom to select their menu

Dysphagia discomfort is not the only thing that those who take care of dysphagia patients have to struggle with. Appetite issues can also deter a patient from taking in adequate nutrients.

Patients will be most inclined to eat when they have the freedom to select foods that they enjoy. While dysphagia can put some limits on what patients can eat, caretakers can expand on the available menu by being creative with the use of food thickeners and recipes. 

Avoid thickening meals in front of patients

Patients are typically going to have bigger appetites if food is brought out all ready to eat and doesn't need to be thickened in front of them. They're also going to prefer eating with others and not having to deal with special considerations to accommodate their dysphagia challenges. 

Bring out meals already prepared and allow dysphagia patients to eat at the same time as other patients or household residents.

Include foods from a variety of food groups in meals

A well balanced diet is important to maintaining the health of any patient. It's important that patients are eating foods from all five food groups to make sure that they're getting adequate nutrient intake. 

Food thickener can be used to make foods from any food group more easy for patients to swallow. This is especially true when foods are liquified and made into smoothies. 

Experimenting and trying new foods with patients

If difficulties arise when trying to feed dysphagia patients, it's time to think outside the box and experiment until foods are found that are palatable.

Many foods can be puréed for dysphagia patients. Question patients on which foods they like until you are able to create a menu that offers a well balanced diet. Contact a company, like DysphagiAide, for more help.