8 Tips for Safer Food & Drink Swallowing

Eating healthy for seniors is important. However, making sure seniors properly eat their food is also important. The following 8 strategies are simple yet effective ways to make sure there are less issues when seniors are eating a meal.


Sit fully upright when eating/drinking

Making sure you are sitting in the proper position allows food that you have chewed to properly leave your mouth. This will minimize the chances of choking and will guarantee healthy food intake.


Eat slowly and chew your food

Nobody is going to take away your food, so make sure that all of your meals are eaten carefully, slowly, and are thoroughly chewed to make sure you do not choke. Properly chewing your food will also help your digestive system with food breakdown.


Take small bites and sips - one at a time

Stuffing your face with food isn't effective and is a choking hazard. You need to make sure that you take in small amounts of food so that it doesn't cause choking.


If you start to cough, let the coughing stop before continuing to eat or drink.

You want to make sure that when you feel as though you need to cough, let it pass before resuming the consumption of your food or drink. Do not force yourself to eat while you are still coughing.


Don't talk while eating or drinking.

When we talk, we are breathing in air. If we talk while also eating, we have a high chance of breathing in the food that we are eating. To minimize the chances of choking, refrain from talking until you are finished with your meal or have chewed and swallowed your bite of food.


Stay upright 30 minute after eating and drinking.

Doctors recommend that after you are done with your meal, it is best to not lay down for at least 30 minutes. Make sure you are at least sitting and letting your food digest.


Avoid Mixed Consistencies (fruit, soups, & cereal)

Mixing foods sometimes makes it difficult to swallow. Eating one type of food at a time will help you avoid choking and will allow you to swallow your food easier.


Clear your throat every so often throughout your meals.

If you have a problem with swallowing food, make sure you take time to clear your throat to allow food to pass through to your stomach.

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