Senior health and wellbeing rely largely on the quality of nutrition an older adult receives. Many contributing factors pose a challenge to healthy nutrition, however, including access to healthy food and ability to eat and drink without assistance. For many seniors, medical trauma and other chronic health conditions lead to what is known as dysphagia, or difficulty and discomfort swallowing.
Progressive neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and dementia can weaken mouth and throat muscles over time which causes dysphagia as can a stroke. In fact, research shows that upwards of 6 million seniors in the U.S. could be at risk for developing dysphagia. Not only does difficulty swallowing affect nutrition but it also increases the risk for pneumonia, one of the most fatal infections seniors can develop.
If you are a senior with dysphagia or help care for one, don’t miss these quick tips for managing dysphagia at home: [Read more…]