How to Help a Senior Drink & EatIn this short clip, Teepa Snow demonstrates some invaluable tips on how to get a dementia senior to eat and drink without causing problems.

Getting Seniors to Swallow Water & Other Drinks

Teepa explains that many dementia patient’s brains get distracted while helping them drink a glass of water and forget to swallow. Be sure to pay attention if they are actually swallowing the drink. If they don’t swallow, Teepa’s technique is to bring the cup up to her lips again, but don’t give them any which usually tricks their brain to make them swallow.

Risk of Aspiration Pneumonia & Techniques to Prevent While Drinking & Eating

Dementia patients can also get aspiration pneumonia which can lead to all kinds of problems so this is important.

If the patient coughs after or while drinking, it is a sign of some liquid getting to her lungs. The next step is to see if a thicker fluid will help.  If it doesn’t, help you can try something that is solid but has a lot of liquid such as a puréed diet.

You can make puréed food by blending all types of food. Mashed potatoes is one example which can be done by boiling potatoes and smashing them to the right consistency.  Mixing fruits and vegetables in a blender is another great example with more nutritious vitamins and minerals. Water, milk or juice can be added to get the desired consistency.

Family Bridges is Here to Help

If you need help caring for a senior with dementia, our in-home caregivers can assist with eating and drinking. Please contact us here or call us at (888) 900-0048.

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