Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) affects a large percentage of the elderly population. Some causes include: stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, GERD, cancer.
Symptoms: choking/gagging/coughing when swallowing, having problems with food/liquids going down on the first try, having foods/liquids come back up through your throat, mouth, or nose after you swallow, painful swallowing
Goal: Achieve good nutrition and hydration status while reducing the risk of aspiration and choking by modifying food texture, or changing the thickness of fluids. Properly prepare and deliver the meal in order to ensure the safety and health of the resident.
National Dysphagia Diet:
I. Pureed Diet
1. Contains foods pureed to pudding-like consistency.
2. No foods that require chewing, coarse textures, raw fruits or vegetables.
3. Diet designed for people with advanced dysphagia and poor oral abilities.
4. Supervision or assistance may be required.
5. Sample Menu: pureed scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pureed soups
II. Mechanically-Altered Diet:
1. Contains ground or minced foods or moist, soft-textured foods.
2. Pureed foods can be included in this diet.
3. Some chewing ability is required.
4. Sample Menu: minced eggs, minced potatoes, creamed soups
a. Mechanical Soft: another version of the Mechanical Altered Diet that includes bread, cake, and rice
III. Advanced Diet:
1. Includes more regular food choices.
2. Excludes crunchy or very hard foods.
3. Foods should be moist, soft, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
4. This diet is a transition from pureed textures to regular textures.
5. Sample Menu: scrambled eggs, chopped potatoes, vegetable soup