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 Worried about aspiration 
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:01 am
Posts: 62
Location: Wake Forest
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Post Worried about aspiration
Ok so I am getting a bit worried lately about Ma's coughing throughout the day and during meals. I also hear her coughing at night on the "Patometer" (Mom's name is Pat and thats what we call the baby monitor device). She doesn't have a cold, not sneezing...just the typical runny nose from the parkinsonian symptoms (and this isn't every day). She's still eating, but not the protein (pureed chicken and beef seem to be the most difficult). Am I not doing those right? Any suggestions to make them easier to go down would be greatly appreciated.

Nancy

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All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother. --Abraham Lincoln


Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:02 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
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If you have access to a speech pathologist, she could help you determine if there is a swallowing problem or if a swallowing study is needed. She can come to the home if it is ordered by a physician through home health and it would be covered by Medicare.


Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:30 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:01 am
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Location: Wake Forest
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Post in hospice care
Thanks so very much, do you know if it matters if she is already on hospice care? If so I could get an independent test done I guess. But more importantly do you know if the procedure they do is painful, upsetting, distressing ect? I don't want to put her through anything she doesn't have to go through just because i am a worrier.

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Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
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The home visit evaluation should be covered by hospice. If a swallowing study is ordered it would be done in an out-patient imaging facility and would probably involve swallowing both soft solid and liquid preparations for imaging. There is nothing painful or frightening about the procedure. Often liquids are the most apt to cause aspiration and the pathologist may recommend that liquids be thickened and will prescribe a thickening agent. She will at any rate teach methods that will reduce the risk of aspiration.


Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:57 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:01 am
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Location: Wake Forest
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You rock! Thanks for the help. I will ask hospice about this tomorrow :D

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All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother. --Abraham Lincoln


Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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A bedside swallow evaluation will time the delay between food entering the mouth and the swallow.

Other than pureeing solids and thickening liquids, there's not much you can do to prevent aspiration.


Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:17 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:01 am
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Location: Wake Forest
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Post Thanks
Thanks Robin, I sent you a private message as well. I really appreciate EVERYONE in this forum so very much. I appreciate you Robin because you are forthright about things like this, you tell it like it is. I know it, but its hard to hear sometimes. I'll let you all know how this goes...again...I am so very grateful for all of you.

Peace,
Nancy

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:42 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:01 pm
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Nancy,

I am dealing with similar swallowing/coughing problems. To get some chicken down, I puree it together with a vegetable soup, so that it is easy to swallow. I make my own soup (to reduce salt), and use roasted chicken because it is the most tender. Other ways to keep up protein intake is to mix cooked cereal with milk, not water, and to offer yogurt once a day. So far I have found this diet sufficient and have not had to introduce supplementary nutrition (like ensure). Fruits are more of a problem, except bananas, so I make a lot of applesauce, and sometimes mix it with cooked pears. If you haven't thickened your mother's liquids, you probably should. All of this will ease the swallowing and coughing, but, I'm sorry to say, will not totally prevent it. The less it is distressing, however, the more likely your mother will enjoy and continue eating.

I think I resisted going through all the bother, at first, but I now think it's worth it. My husband still looks forward to meal times.

Doris

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:41 am
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