Swallowing Issues & Cutting Food Up Into Smaller Pieces - Dementia

September 06, 2017

I'll admit that I use to be the one who thought dementia was just a memory problem. I never had any clue that dementia was MUCH MORE than just a decline in memory. I wasn't educated very well on dementia, before dementia hit us.

I've learned in the past year that dementia can also affect swallowing or how to properly eat. My mom has a hard time eating and I can tell she forgets the steps to eating. My mom stuffs way to much food into her mouth. She'll keep stuffing food into her mouth and she'll forget to swallow the food, before she puts more food into her mouth. The struggle with swallowing has been real! 

It's honestly such a sad thing to watch. I hate watching my mom struggle on how to eat. I hate watching the fear in my mom's eyes as she eats and how she is clueless to the eating process. I've watched her choke, I've watched her eyes water up, and I've witnessed her throwing up because she has put to much food into her mouth and swallowed to much at a time. 

The things that help us the most are -

1. Cutting up her food into smaller pieces (like you'd do for a child), especially if I know it will be a struggle for her to eat.

2.  Reminding her of steps to eating while she's eating. She still struggles with understanding what I am saying & how to do what I say while she is eating.

3. Having her drink water in between swallowing

4. Patience

5. Humility

6. Positivity

We brought up the swallowing issue to the doctor at my mom's last doctor appointment. He decided to put her on a soft food diet. I'm hoping that will help her for now.

We went to Costco last week. My mom insisted that she wanted to go inside Costco. My mom came in with us and we ended up buying hotdogs to eat. I cut up the hot dog so it would be easier for my mom to eat. I just wanted to show an example of what I do for her, when I think something will be harder for her to eat. I'll ask her if she wants her food cut up and she'll agree for me to cut up her food.

My mom is still very determined in life. She is living it up. She has taught me a great lesson to NEVER GIVE UP. Even when the going gets tough, never give up! Even when things are hard, keep going!

I am thankful for the lessons I continue to learn from her.

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