Dysphagia in the Elderly

Are you 65 years and older or do you have family members in this age group? If you said yes to either one of those questions, the following information may be beneficial to you and/or your loved ones.

As we get older there are many physiological changes that occur in our bodies. Our ability to swallow is one that tends to decrease with advanced age. The difficulty to adequately swallow is also known as dysphagia.

Dysphagia is not only present in health complications such as stroke and dementia, but is also prevalent in the elderly population.

A selection of our products for dysphagia. Shop Now!
A selection of our products for dysphagia. Shop Now!

In a group of 65-94 year-old elderly living in the community, 37.6percent were reported to have dysphagia.* Dysphagia can contribute to malnutrition, as this population tends to have decreased oral intake of food and beverages. Modified diets are necessary in managing dysphagia, but unfortunately these texture modifications are not the most desirable or appetizing. Modifications in diet texture such as pureed or nectar thick liquids are not typically preferred, which leads to decrease caloric and nutrient intake resulting in malnutrition. Malnutrition can further lead to increased health complications and even fatality.

An oral nutrition supplement suitable for the texture modification needed may be a solution to ensure that you or a loved one is meeting your nutritional needs.

The Magic Cup Desert, a favorite of many customers. View this product.
The Magic Cup Desert, a favorite of many patients. View this product.

As a clinical dietitian in the hospital and long term acute care setting, I have tried many oral nutrition supplements with my patients. There are not many options in supplements for modified diets at the facilities where I work, but there is one that never lets my patients and me down. That oral nutrition supplement is called MAGIC CUP® Dessert. When my patients eat a MAGIC CUP® Dessert, they tell me they feel like they are eating dessert instead of consuming a supplement. MAGIC CUP® Dessert contains 290 calories and 9 grams protein, which is equivalent to eating a homemade turkey and cheese sandwich. MAGIC CUP® Dessert is a great oral nutrition supplement for elderly individuals with dysphagia related malnutrition.

*Sura, L, Madhavan A, Carnaby G, Crary MA. Dysphagia in the elderly: management and nutritional considerations. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2012; 7: 287-298.

Vivian Nguyen RD, LD obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from San Diego State University and completed her Dietetic Internship Program through Utah State University. She is currently working as a Clinical Dietitian where she specializes in nutrition support and diabetes. She is studying for and taking her CNSC certification this fall. She has a passion for nutrition, and helping people heal through the power of food. Vivian is also an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the national and local level and the American Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition.

Vi Ngyuen Registered Dietitian
Vivian Nguyen RD,LD
Clinical Dietitian
Candler Hospital
(912) 819-5708

Professional writing services paid for by Hormel Health Labs, formerly Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc.