We had the Speech Therapist out earlier in the week to assess the best way for Liz to eat.
Liz has a slowed swallow reflex and is prone to choking on her food. We have been making the food softer and finer gradually over some time. Now a pasta sauce for example, will be liquidised and the pasta chopped up in a food processor.
The carers feed Liz by holding a spoon full up to her mouth and then pushing it in like a bulldozer with a fork.
However Liz is having increasing difficulty opening her mouth to accept the food.
My solution was to get a cake icing syringe and push a couple of cm (1") of food grade clear tubing on the end and to squirt the food between her teeth and her cheek. Thanks for those on the forum who told me this method. It works very well indeed.
The speech therapists take was there is a danger of there being an excess of food squirted in and, with her slowed swallow and inability to cough properly, her air way might get blocked.
The speech therapist recommended that when we need to we move to teaspoon sized silicon covered teaspoons. One to hold the cheek open and the other to put food in.
My thoughts on this: Try it on yourself - every mouthful is an unpleasant experience.
With great care the syringe does work well and is comfortable for the recipient. Yes, squirting in four table spoons full at one, by mistake, could be very serious indeed. I would ask how often you might have done that icing a cake? Like as in never?
The only other thing I can imagine we do is to move to is feeding liquid from a cup. It would be a shame to move to that stage before we have to.
Some last thoughts on the icing syringe. I opted for clear plastic so that I can see how much is going in. It does not need to be sterile as might a PEG as it is going into her mouth.
A large re-usable PEG syringe might do equally well, but I see they have a narrower opening in their throat, not the end, and so the food would have to be fully liquidized and not too thick.
I've gone as far as I can on this now. The comments I got here when I floated the idea have been really helpful - thanks.
More ideas and comments are most welcome.