Choking can be a serious concern, especially for those above the age of 76. This is because of their reduced gag reflex and weakened swallowing mechanism. It is important to reduce choking risks as choking can lead to disrupted breathing and even result in brain damage or death. Continue reading to understand safe eating habits to reduce choking risks.
What Causes Choking?
Choking can happen for a variety of reasons. Make sure to look out for these causes to prevent choking from happening:
- Eating food too quickly
- Attempting to swallow big portions of food
- Eating food of an inappropriate texture when you have special requirements
- Health conditions that lead to difficulty swallowing
Eating The Right Way
When you eat, cut your food into smaller pieces. You should eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly about 30 times before swallowing. This is especially the case if you are wearing dentures. Chewing thoroughly ensures that it is soft enough to slide down your throat without you choking.
Eat The Right Food
If you have health conditions that lead to difficulty swallowing, it is important to pay special attention to your diet. For example, foods with a pureed and smooth consistency will be easier to swallow without choking. This includes apple sauce, puddings, pureed meats, and pureed vegetables. You should avoid chewy and dry food such as cookies.
Focus on Eating
When you eat, you should not talk or laugh, as it can cause you to choke while swallowing and chewing. You also should sit down and concentrate on eating, since walking and running while having food in your mouth also results in an increased risk of choking.
Feeding Your Loved Ones
If you have to feed your loved ones, there are some tips to keep in mind to assist them so they can eat safely. For example, you should:
- Feed your loved one as they sit upright
- Place a towel behind their back to make eating easier
- Ensure their chin is tucked to their chest when swallowing
- Give small bites and sips
- Remind your loved ones to chew and swallow
- Ensure good oral hygiene after eating
- Make sure no food is left behind in the cheeks
- Keep your loved one sitting upright for half an hour after mealtime for better digestion
Senior Assisted Living at Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge is a retirement community equipped with the best amenities and care team to ensure all residents enjoy their retirement life in a way that’s carefree, fulfilling, and dignified. Our senior assisted living option allows residents to receive the assistance they need with daily living activities. This includes help with laundry, dining, ambulation, grooming, continence, and more. You can rest assured that our dedicated team will ensure that all your needs are met.
To find out more about our retirement community at Blue Ridge, you can call our friendly team at 706.309.5621 to learn more about what we can offer you and your loved ones. In addition, you can also schedule a tour!