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The registered dietitian will help you meet your nutritional needs from your diet, supplements or with tube feedings. You and your family members will meet with the dietitian to make sure the meals are providing food choices you like and to discuss appropriate meals for family members to bring in. Nutrition supplements and snacks are available for you while you are on the rehab unit and can be used to help you consume enough protein and to maintain your weight.
The dietitian will work with you and your family to understand what dietary changes, if any, are needed prior to discharge. Diets commonly recommended are low fat, low sodium, high protein or diabetic diet.
Some people experience swallowing difficulties after a stroke or traumatic brain injury. If your swallowing is impaired, the dietitian will work with you and the speech therapist on providing softer foods and/or thickened liquids. These foods have been ordered to keep you safe at mealtimes. Foods that are pre-cut, pureed or soft and moist may be used to make it safer and easier for you to swallow. Please ask to speak with a dietitian if you have any questions regarding your current diet.
When eating and swallowing are not safe or you are not eating enough, you may be using a feeding tube for nutrition. A nutritional formula will be used to make sure that you are meeting your daily protein and calorie needs. The dietitian will work with the speech therapist and doctor and decrease the formula when a diet is started. If you will require tube feedings at home, the dietitian will work to set up a feeding schedule and supplies.
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