Dysphagia – Daily attitude

Découvrez sur Nutrisens toutes les informations à connaître pour savoir comment agir au quotidien face à la dénutrition des personnes âgées.

Watch out for warning signs:

Some signs can go unnoticed!

  • Refusal to eat or drink; slow to eat or drink
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Pneumopathy
  • Malnutrition…

Coping strategies:

To ensure daily hydration, the following should be considered:

  • The importance of the patient’s posture to avoid blocking the windpipe when swallowing: the carer should be at the same height as the patient who should be seated with trunk straight, head lowered and chin tucked in.
  • Stimulation with sparkling or fizzy water, acidity or temperature variations (hot or cold) affects swallowing and helps avoid food or drink “going down the wrong way”. Cold drinks with a pronounced taste and strong smell help to swallow quickly and hard.
  • Thicker liquids run into the throat slowly, leaving the larynx time to close and tasty substances are more likely to trigger swallowing. Thickness and taste both have a positive effect on swallowing and help avoid choking.

The D.S.A pack by Nutrisens Medical helps define the best thickness for the patient, ranging from still water to thickened water.

Food texture should also be adapted to maintain intake and prevent malnutrition. A texture-modified diet may be necessary, depending on the degree of dysphagia:

  • Purée texture: smooth consistency for both meat and vegetables; they can be mixed together or separated on the plate (the grains do not exceed 0.1 cm).
  • Thick purée texture: meat is minced, vegetables are mashed or very tender; meat and vegetables are separated on the plate (the grains do not exceed 0.2 cm).
  • Minced texture: meat and vegetables are minced and separated on the plate (the grains do not exceed 0.3 cm).
  • Mashed texture: only meat is minced, except if the protein element is tender (the grains do not exceed 0.5 cm).