Nutritional Help with Someone in Stroke Care
Patients requiring stroke care often have challenges eating meals. Sometimes it’s a chewing or swallowing issue, but other times, it’s a matter of getting food to the mouth. If the stroke has created memory loss, the stroke patient might not remember to eat.
Always refer to your doctor when you need assistance in choosing a meal plan for someone in stroke care. The following tips may be helpful, as well:
Encourage Wholesome Regular Meals
- Schedule regular meals. The person in stroke care may eat more when they dine with a loved one at the table. He or she may look forward to a regular time to eat, so long as there is patience and ample time provided for eating.
- Try different meal times. Does a late morning breakfast work better for the loved one in stroke care than an early morning meal?
- Nutrient-dense foods are best. Rebuild your loved one’s strength by offering healthy, whole foods while in stroke care.
- Everyone has preferences. If your loved one favors an item that’s easier to chew or swallow, and it has a high nutritional value, let them enjoy it often!
Softer Food is Usually Best
- Pureed whole fruits or veggies: Pureed or blended whole foods are more palatable with additional spices or flavorings.
- Yogurt is easy: Yogurt is an easy choice since it’s easy to swallow and sold in pre-portioned packages.
- Oatmeal adds fiber: Oatmeal adds essential fiber, and is typically easier to chew and swallow than other grains.
- Eggs are simple: Easy to eat and digest, eggs can provide protein along with other beneficial nutrients.
- Gelatin or other soft desserts: Everyone enjoys sweets on occasion, but low-nutrition foods should only be offered on occasion.
- Liquid meals: Ready-to-drink replacement meal shakes are high in protein and will be easiest for stroke care patients who are struggling to chew or swallow.
- Avoid sticky foods: Peanut butter, rice, or anything sticky might create a choking hazard.
- Buy special utensils: There are utensils that are cushioned or have specialized grips that can help someone in stroke care eat independently.
Seek Help as Needed
Seek outside assistance as needed when offering stroke care to your loved one. Contact your local Home Care Assistance office at (214) 216-6811 today to get more information about home care or meal assistance during this difficult time.