Swallowing difficulties are common in the elderly. Especially stroke patients. There are various degrees of difficulty. Problems with swallowing pills is common. If swallowing is normal except for the inability to swallow pills first try placing the pill UNDER the tongue and then having the patient drink an ordinary quantity of water or liquid. The pill will usually magically end up in the tummy. Another way uses ripe banana. You crush the pill and place the medication in a glob of mashed banana. Banana is sometimes contraindicated because of the potassium content, however a small bit (an inch or so) will not cause problems. Thyroid medication can often be introduced in this manner, as well as ordinary antibiotics. The mashed bit of banana has just enough substance to cause the patient to swallow the pill. Follow up with a sip of liquid.
My mom has been using a bit of yogurt for years to help her pills slip on down. My husband uses yogurt because he has pretty severe hiatal hernia and acid reflux so swallowing is often a problem for him. Not sure if that teaspoon of yogurt interferes with absorption of any particular meds.
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