Leading a healthy lifestyle is essential at any age, even more so when getting older. It involves but is not limited to staying physically active, getting adequate rest or sleep, practicing personal hygiene, and following a healthy and well-balanced diet as part of senior care in Texas. While it is attainable to practice other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, some seniors have trouble maintaining good nutrition.
One factor that leads to loss or change of appetite in the elderly is due to changes in physiological functions. Other contributing factors to senior malnutrition include dry mouth, poor digestion, reduced taste, chewing difficulty, and swallowing problems, also called dysphagia. As part of quality home health care in Tyler, Texas, speech therapy helps address dysphagia and combat malnutrition in the elderly.
Although trouble swallowing can happen at any age, it is more common in older adults as well as individuals with acid reflux, brain injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. The prevalence of this condition is increasing with the aging population and is affecting senior nutrition, which needs to be immediately addressed. As a means to that, speech therapists here at New Concept Health Services, Inc. work alongside other healthcare providers to assess the condition. After evaluating what is causing dysphagia, the care team develops an individualized dysphagia treatment plan that includes exercises aimed at improving the ability to swallow.
Once an evaluation is done, speech therapists prescribe swallow strengthening exercises and techniques, as well as determine the safest means of maintaining nutrition and hydration in seniors. There are also other exercises for home treatment such as shaker exercise, hyoid lift maneuver, effortful swallow, and more.