A few years ago my husband felt that he was having trouble swallowing. He complained also about swallowing pills which I felt was in part an outgrowth of the fact that he resented having to take the medications and nutritional supplements for symptomatic PD relief.
Since that complaint extended to food as well because he was terrified of choking, I began serving food which didn't require as much chewing but not a soft diet. I also cut all meats into smaller pieces because often he didn't. Mostly the idea was to present food in a non-threatening way, one that didn't promote the fear. He felt he was being cared for...
I really like the previous food suggestions and will keep them in mind should the time comes if and when the symptoms can no longer be controlled.
We also looked at sinus congestion, more a problem recently since he has begun feeling colder but not dressing for the cold, instead preferring to run a heater beneath his desk. The result is drier air. Once we had the dry and somewhat stuffy nose and the post nasal-drip addressed, some of the problem abated.
Still he was concerned about choking. That's the way he rolls. I started him do simple voice exercises; one being my favorite from my "acting" days. Using the vowel sounds from Whose Old Father Ate Beans: OO OH AH AY EE.
You put 2 clean fingers in your mouth between your teeth to keep the mouth open to form an O. You use your throat to propel the sound as you run through that vowel sequence. Try it and you will see that it also involves the lips by keeping them tight. It really helps to relax the throat.
But that wasn't enough.
We wanted more that he could do on a regular basis at home.
That was when we discovered Mary Spremulli,MA,CCC-SLP. She now has two wonderful DVDs of classwork which you can purchase for home use. We have both DVDs although he finds the first more fun as it involves both voice and physical exercise while the 2nd is more singing.
I suggest getting the first of the DVDs for home use. Below is a link for ordering:
Please understand that this is not a substitute for a personal visit to a Speech Pathologist, which Ms Spremulli is, but it is an excellent way to begin. The DVD is warm and friendly, enthusiastic and calming. And by the way, the sequence of exercises really did help my husband, especially in calming his fears.