Monday, September 26, 2011


I worked four evenings during the past week at the skilled nursing facility (SNF) near my home, covering for a colleague who was on vacation. I haven't worked at rehab for a number of months, so it was great to be back in that setting. I was able to work with an 80 year old gentleman who wanted his meals upgraded to a more regular consistency. (He was having some swallowing problems previously, and had been eating more of a ground texture.) He was a joy to work with! He was able to demonstrate all his safe swallowing strategies: sit upright, cut food into small pieces, take small bites, and alternate bites of food with swallows of liquid. He tried hard not to talk while he was eating, another strategy. Over the four evenings that I saw him, he was able to have salads, hamburgers, meat, well-cooked vegetables, hard cookies and crunchier fruit without any distress. I upgraded his diet to "regular" at the end of the week. We healthy souls often take for granted the pleasure of eating whatever we want everyday. When this gentleman heard he would be able to have salads again, his face lit up like a child at Christmas! How lucky am I to get to do this work!

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