My mother, age 84 just did a modified barium swallow and it was found she silently aspirates thin liquids. As such, she will now need to be on nectar thick liquids. She is in assisted living, and they have in house therapy, so speech therapy will begin shortly. After a 6 week program, they want her re-tested to see if there is any improvement. This is a deterioration from 18 months ago, when the same test showed only silent aspiration when using a straw. She was given exercises to do, however her compliance was not a dedicated as I had hoped despite prompting.
Her facility has thickening agents, as well as the pre-mixed flavored water and I want to make sure that she stays hydrated, as she is prone to UTIs. In reading various sources, it stated some over the counter thick fruit juices are ok to give, such as apricot nectar or tomato juice, however her therapist indicates no, everything must be thickened. I'm looking into different ways to do this, such as adding MIO flavor enhancers to thickened water and to give it some variety. Is there a specific lists of do's and don'ts that I should be aware of?
Also, she takes liquid Tylenol for pain and a liquid multi-vitamin....do they also need to be added to thickened water? How about vitamin gummies? She enjoys those and they seem like they would be OK, but I want to make sure.
This all came about when a new finding of pulmonary fibrosis was given 2 months ago, and her pulmonologist wanted a repeated swallow test to determine the cause. Although this is something new that must be dealt with, I'm hopeful this will help to reducet her risk of pneumonia, which she's had a few times over the last 3 years.
My apologies for the length of this post, but since I'm proactive in her care, I want to make sure I do the right things for her.
Thanks very much for any information that you can provide.