I have an Ancestry autosomal DNA kit that we are trying to get a 95 year old woman to take and having trouble. I provided the hints that 23andme offers to my cousin that is trying to administer the test:
If providing adequate sample volume is a challenge for you or someone you are assisting, the following may help increase saliva production:
- Gently rubbing the outside of your cheeks
- Making chewing motions with your mouth
- Adding a small amount of sugar to the tip of your tongue
- Smelling or imagining sour foods such as lemons
- Thinking about your own favorite food
Biting or scraping your cheeks is not recommended; keep in mind that the majority of the cells analyzed in your saliva sample will not be epithelial cells from your cheeks but white blood cells that are found naturally in your saliva.
However, they have now reported back:
I worked with my mom using your list of suggestions. I think she may have produced some saliva, but she wasn't able to spit it out. She seems to automatically swallow the saliva and has nothing to spit out. I am not sure what to do. I talked with her but she doesn't seem to understand. If you have any ideas I am willing to try again if she is.
Now we could switch to cheek swab using Family Tree DNA, but I would prefer to stick with Ancestry since I get DNA circles and can transfer to FTDNA in the future.
Perhaps getting her to look down so gravity is helping as someone rubs the checks?
What other suggestions do folks have in getting saliva for an Ancestry.com DNA sample?