Eating & The Stroke Survivor

As Hari Raya is approaching, we Malaysians celebrate with our Muslim friends on this joyous occasion. Iinvariably, it revolves around all the tasty dishes and a diverse selection of food. I take this opportunity to share on the challenges of eating for a stroke survivor. The stroke survivor not only need to have a healthy diet but also a sufficient amount which provides the survivor the strength to go through all the physical exercises plus the building up of strength.

One common symptom among stroke survivor is the issue of depression. This is a serious matter for it affects every aspect of recovery – like the willingness to maintain a healthy eating habit. I have listed some common challenges a stroke survivor faces which affect his or her eating habit.

1. Reduce sense of smell and taste.

2. Short-term memory loss, causing the survivor forgetting to chew or swallow.

3. Physical impairment or paralysis affecting survivor’s use of eating utensils.

4. Survivor experiencing Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing or choking.

5. Depression and emotional problems causing loss of appetite.

Due to the above challenges, a stroke survivor may lose interest in food thereby experiencing weight-loss and malnutrition, which in turn will affect the recovery process. For this reason, stroke survivors need help from family members or the care-giver. The care-giver must be aware of any specific issue the stroke survivor is having concerning eating. If the problem is with Dysphagia or Depression or perhaps physical impairment, the care-giver must seek advice from the doctors for medication to treat these challenges.

Apart from these, here are some practical ways for care-givers to promote good eating habits are :-

1. Sharing meals at regular times with the survivor.

2. Setting a leisurely pace for the meal.

3. Serving meals that the survivor likes and wants.

4. Reducing distractions round the table.

5. Encouraging multiple small meals throughout the day.

The good news is that with some planning and a few adjustments, the stroke survivor can enjoy the pleasure of eating again. Some suggestions to note are :-

1. Choose healthy food with stronger flavors like steam fish or broiled fish.

2. Use Spices to enhance smell and taste, also to replace salt.

3. Choose softer food for easy chewing like cereals, bananas, yogurt and soups.

4. Cutting meat into smaller pieces.

5. Choose colourful visually appealing food like salmon, carrots etc.

Read Related Posts on Stroke
What is a Stroke?
Facts of Stroke & The Warning Signs.
Stroke Risk Factors.
Understanding Spasticity

[tags]stroke, diet for stroke survivor[/tags]

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About bokjae

A retiree and full-time home care-giver to my wife a stroke survivor. A graduate in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, working as Project Manager; and was in Senior Management (Executive Director) with a local Telecommunications Company for 22 years till retirement. Upon retirement I was attached to a Church serving as full-time lay leader, lay counsellor as well as in social or community work such as old folks home, drug rehab, orphanage.

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  1. Pingback: Nurture Your Own » Stroke & Diet Part 3

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