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Problems swallowing & chewing

(10 Posts)
hellymart Sun 18-Nov-18 22:48:15

My 92-year old dad is having real problems chewing and swallowing food. He's had lots of tests and examinations and the doctors/hospital can find nothing wrong. It's a real struggle to find food that he can/will eat and he's losing weight. Has anyone else experienced this and if so does anyone have any tips? I read on here that someone's husband had an operation to have their oesophogus widened and I'm wondering if that would also help him. Thank you in advance!

MissAdventure Sun 18-Nov-18 22:52:27

I think a speech therapist can help with these kinds of problems.
Has he had his teeth checked?
Is it possible he could go onto liquidised food, if he is choking when eating?

hellymart Sun 18-Nov-18 23:05:29

Thanks for your reply. It's not his teeth - it's definitely his throat. Liquidised food would, I suppose, be the final option. He seems to have a fear of choking but can eat some foods (eg: fish) and not others (meat, even soft mince).

tanith Sun 18-Nov-18 23:12:06

His GP or hospital can prescribe fortified drinks that are full of nutrients which might help him

Baggs Mon 19-Nov-18 06:05:36

What tanith said. High calories drinks, which are pleasant to drink, I'm told, can be prescribed by your dad's GP. My mum has them and they have helped stop her losing any more weight.

Grannyknot Mon 19-Nov-18 07:08:22

My neighbour had this problem, and the GP told his wife to add a dollop of full cream to any food being prepared for him. And to give him full fat ice cream any time he felt like it. It certainly helped.

sodapop Mon 19-Nov-18 08:44:19

This happens a lot with older people and the fear of choking exacerbates the problem.
Fortified drinks and adding cream etc all help.

Eglantine21 Mon 19-Nov-18 08:49:35

My elderly father in law has this problem. The doctor has prescribed a muscle relaxant that seems to be effective.

EllanVannin Mon 19-Nov-18 08:55:41

Sodapop I agree. It's a common psychological problem with some elderly. Only self-help can cure this when there's nothing sinister going on.
I remember an elderly lady bunging her food into her mouth and she found she couldn't swallow and instead of spitting it out she kept it in her mouth and started choking to the point of going blue so I had to quickly put her on the floor of the ward remove her food and her teeth and give her CPR.
Unfortunately I broke a couple of her ribs but she did survive thankfully. So easy for this sort of thing to happen.

Lynne59 Mon 19-Nov-18 09:21:23

As the others have said, the doctor can prescribe FORTISIP, a liquid in cartons, which contains every nutrient a person needs - 3 or 4 cartons daily usually.

The operation you mentioned wouldn't be offered to your dad, because of his age anyway.

The oesophagus narrows sometimes in elderly people. Your dad could try having rice puddings, blancmange, custard, etc., all made with full-fat milk.