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nelson

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Hello,
My mother-in-law has ALS, 2 yrs. diagnosed now and is now having trouble swallowing food, liquids, med's and phelm problems.
My question is, what advice can you give us to help her nutritionally, she is not at feeding tube stage yet, but we need suggestions about how to help feed her properly.
Also, what about the suction machine? At what stage do you begin using that?

We have a food processor, is that what you use for meats, etc., has anyone used baby foods ? :-| any suggestions about supplements, ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

edna may

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orange county
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laguna woods
Nutrition

nelson said:
Hello,
My mother-in-law has ALS, 2 yrs. diagnosed now and is now having trouble swallowing food, liquids, med's and phelm problems.
My question is, what advice can you give us to help her nutritionally, she is not at feeding tube stage yet, but we need suggestions about how to help feed her properly.
Also, what about the suction machine? At what stage do you begin using that?

We have a food processor, is that what you use for meats, etc., has anyone used baby foods ? :-| any suggestions about supplements, ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Nelson just wanted to say Welcome, I don't know I can be much help. There're more knowledgeable people here & I am sure they will be chipping in any minute. I am at that stage myself. however I just got the feeding tube last week for the future. I can not chew meat, but I do cut it in tiny pieces & I can eat a little meat that way, try well cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes & gravy.some soft casseroles. & 3 cans of ensure a day. custards, apple sauce, I like bread pudding, scrambled eggs, milk shakes smoothies, make everything as fattening as you can, keep her weight on. Just a few suggestions. I know there is a thickener for liquids, I haven't tried it yet. It is sort of hit & miss in getting enough nutrition into the foods she likes .Good luck & tell her. Hi!There are a lot of us here that understand what she is going through. We will try to give her all the support she needs. EM



I
 

hboyajian

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If she is having trouble swallowing both liquids and solid foods and may also have difficulty chewing well enough, blended foods at a sort of applesauce consistency may be easier to swallow. We used soups as a base for vegetables and meats. We used yogurt and/or ice cream as a base for fruits (bananas, strawberries, canned peaches). I put protein and vitamin powders in with both of these, but it was somewhat difficult to get the consistency just right. Liquid food supplements such as Ensure can be helpful to keep up caloric intake.

It is probably a good idea to discuss this problem with the doctor and get a referral to a speech therapist (they actually help with swallowing problems also) to get an evaluation for related problems such as potential aspiration of food and liquids.
 

hboyajian

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Edna May, I'm so glad your surgery went well and that the PEG tube is in place to help you keep nutritional intake to a good level.
I did forget to mention the thickener for liquids. My dad used 'thick-it' which is a corn starch based substance that can be stirred into any liquid. It has no flavor and can be put in juices or water to make them possible to swallow in small amounts. I looked at baby foods, but they come in such small portions that it is hardly worth it. The exception to this is that I bought a powdered baby cereal that you can mix with water to the desired consistency, no cooking necessary. This was meant to be in case of emergency. My parents used it during a severe windstorm when their power was out for more than a day.
 

landscape

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CALS
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Western Provinces
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Erehwon
I've found 'The Dysphagia Cookbook' useful. The author is Elayne Achilles and she has a website that gives some recipes from the book. Elayne's partner had ALS and many of the ideas come from that experience. I bought my copy of the book from Amazon.

http://www.dysphagiacookbook.com/index.htm

I use a small food processor for all meats and I have a blender that I use a great deal. We avoid bread now and use either pita breads or tortillas (some brands are better than others) both of which seem easier to manage.

I make a lot of soups and try to make sure there's enough moist sauce on things. We use Ensure as a supplement.
 

nelson

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thanks

Thanks for the suggestions, my husband and I feel better about the situation, now that I have read your suggestions. We are actually doing most of them, thickeners, applesauce, food processor, etc.. She is going to the doctor in a few weeks for another swallowing evaluation.

Again, thanks for the response:mrgreen: :-D .
 
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