Many seniors have difficulty swallowing large tablets, like calcium and magnesium.  Chewing some tablets leaves a terrible taste.

Dr. Keith Roach, Medical Editor for the Herald Tribune has the answer.    Older folks often have difficulty swallowing for several reasons; loss of elasticity of the tissues, dryness neurological changes reducing sensation, and changes in nerves and muscles involved in swallowing.

Some general advice might be helpful.  A proven method of swallowing tablets is to place the tablet on your tongue and suck water from a flexible water bottle.  Capsules can be swallowed more easily by tilting the chin slightly toward your chest. These techniques are illustrated in the diagram attached.

Many, but not all, large pills can be crushed and mixed with thick liquid like applesauce or yogurt.  Pill crushers can be bought at any pharmacy, or you can get a mortar and pestle. Ask your pharmacist if your pill can be crushed. If not, perhaps you can get a prescription for several smaller – sized tablets.

It is not a given that one of these methods will work for you or be safe for you, especially if you have a hard time swallowing pills.

See your doctor if you are having problems swallowing.