Eating should be an enjoyable affair. But for an individual with Parkinson’s disease (PD), trying to swallow with dysfunctional muscles presents a minefield of difficulties.
Below are some tips to manage swallowing difficulties especially for Parkinson’s individuals:
- keep the environment free of distractions and do not talk while eating
- sit upright, head tilted forward, and stay upright for 30 minutes after eating
- cut food into small pieces only put 1/2 teaspoon in your mouth, chew very slowly
- concentrate on swallowing and swallow each bite 2 or 3 times
- if you choke, cough gently and swallow again before taking a breath
- exercise face and jaw muscles when possible, sing out loud, exaggerate chewing