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Need to Know

Dangerous Foods: Common Choking Hazards for the Elderly

Taking care of your elderly parents necessitates being aware of the everyday dangers that can affect them. Choking is one such real risk.

Even though statistics show that dentures have lessened due to attentive dental care, certain foods still pose a problem.

Here is a list of common choking hazards and easy substitutions.

While this list gives a great overview, nothing beats a chat with your family doctor, nutritionist, and elderly parent or relative. Combined, a comprehensive plan of action can be formed.


Large chunks of meat can be very hard to chew, so swallow safely. It is highly recommendable to avoid hard meats, like steak, and big pieces of meat in general. Great substitutions include ground meats (like chicken, turkey, or veal), julienned slices of softened lamb and hotdogs, and fileted fish. It is almost always better to cut up food and remove any hard peel or skin attached.


Large chunks of fruit pose a serious danger to eating the elderly. Fruit that is especially hard, like apples, pineapples, and plums, should be peeled completely and cut into easy-to-chew bites. Pureed versions of these fruits, like applesauce or blended plums, might also be a great option to consider.


Bread poses a threat because if it gets stuck in the airway, water can cause it to swell and block the air passage. Cake and milk together pose a similar issue. Toasting slices of bread and softening them with butter is a simple way to avoid any issues. Substituting other desserts, like a mouse, ice cream, or whip cream and fruit for cake, also lessons issues.


Some liquids, like water, can pose choking hazards because of the lack of thickness. Speak to your doctor or nutritionist about thickening agents and substitutions.

At Alvita Care, we strive to provide the most excellent home care in NYC. For inquiry, contact us or call at 212-273-0490.

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