3 Tips for Traveling with Dysphagia

Traditionally, this is the time of year when people start planning their summer vacations. In order to get reservations at the hotels they’d like to stay in or the events they’d like to attend, it is necessary to book early. The earlier the better. Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy for someone suffering from some type of health condition that makes it risky to travel. Even though you’d like to get away to someplace you’ve never been, or to some event you’ve been wanting to attend for years now, suffering a condition like dysphagia is a real concern. Is it safe to go someplace where you aren’t close by to your healthcare team? Actually, it just might be, and there may be no reason to put off traveling yet another year. There are things you can do to make traveling manageable and a lot less stressful.

1. Speak with Your Doctor

Dysphagia is a medical condition that makes it difficult to swallow to some greater or lesser degree. One of the major fears is choking or aspirating on foods that aren’t prepared to a consistency that will simply glide down when swallowed. If you’ve been following your treatment plan, chances are good that your doctor will approve traveling and give you tips on how to manage as well as potential referrals if you have problems while away from home.

2. Research Restaurants That Will Accommodate You

The reason you can eat safely at home is because you have the ability to puree your food to a pudding-like consistency. Some of your local restaurants will accommodate you from time to time so that you can enjoy an evening out with friends and family. They will even serve you soups that have been strained so that they are liquid only yet retain the amazing flavor of all those meats and vegetables. But what do you do when liquids can cause you to aspirate as well? You’ve learned the ‘trick’ and you can easily do this on the road as well!

3. Take Your ‘Tricks’ Along with You!

One of the most amazing things especially created for sufferers of dysphagia is a line of products you can add to liquids to thicken them to the desired, and safe, consistency. For those sufferers who don’t need their liquids too awfully thick, SimplyThick nectar yields the perfect consistency. It’s not quite as thick as a heavy pudding but thicker than water or most beverages. It makes swallowing liquids much more manageable for people who aspirate easily, and it comes in serving size packets that can simply be mixed into liquids, hot or cold, without altering the flavor one iota.

The bottom line is that if you can manage eating safely at home and there are restaurants that will accommodate you, why not travel? Simply bring your thickening agents with you and if there are no such restaurants in the vicinity, canned broths can be easily thickened once you’ve heated them in a microwave. That said, what self-respecting hotel doesn’t provide a microwave for guests who require them? Don’t let your fear prevent you from having a great time on vacation. Bring along your ‘supplies’ and you can leave your fears behind.

About Ashley Rosa

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