Eating is one of the most important pleasures of life that is often taken away from a person with progression of ALS. When food preparation and the dining experience becomes a struggle for the ALS sufferer, and can lead to eating anxiety and reduced quality of life. It can be an emotional struggle for the family as well. Understanding the distinct challenges with ALS can allow caregivers to find the right food solutions to bring comfort and energy to their loved one.
Everyone experiences dry mouth. That cotton ball sensation in your mouth that makes your tongue feel twice its’ size. Speech becomes an effort and swallowing difficult. Most healthy adults can trace back the cause to the common culprits- alcohol, caffeine or smoking. Taking a few restorative glasses of water is often the cure. However, 13-28% of older adults face this as a chronic issue, called xerostomia, every day. This number can increase to an alarming 60% in long term care. Loss of quality of life stemming from reduced food enjoyment is a reality. Also, loss of oral health and ultimately overall health raises the need for us to share information regarding this condition across disciplines.
For infants and children with PFD, every bite of food can be painful, scary, or impossible, potentially impeding nutrition, development, growth, and overall well-being. Finding food that they are willing to eat and that are safe for them is the challenge for SLPs.
Although purée foods offer a nutritional solution, typical purée diets have been shown to contain up to 50% less protein than regular diets. (Vucea, 2017; Dahl, 2007). The goal to graduate individuals to firmer textures and expand their dietary options offers health, and psychosocial benefits that can’t be underestimated.
Difficulty swallowing affects more than 15 Million Americans. Sweet shakes, purées and even feeding tubes can be their "new normal".
The pleasure is removed from the eating experience. We have worked hard to change that. It was a challenging pursuit that led to the development of Savorease Snack Foods. Finally the textures and tastes people crave when they can't swallow properly.
We are proud to share the official video showing the collaborative journey that made the impossible possible
While pureed and mechanically soft food options are available to satiate a dysphagic individual’s hunger, ready-made snack options are often limited to shakes and puddings, which can be unenjoyable over time due to lack of texture variety. In addition, lack of mastication can negatively affect cognition over time, which may be an impactful consequence especially for those in cognitive decline with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. It has been shown that improving the flavor of foods can improve caloric intake and body weight in nursing-home patients. In conclusion, the loss of food enjoyment contributes to the risk of malnourishment in the elderly and ultimately decreases quality of life. Addressing these factors can improve the lives of this population.