Dysphagia (swallowing) assessments, mealtime management plans and education training
Dysphagia, or swallowing difficulties can occur for a variety of reasons. These can include stroke, brain injury, progressive neurological conditions or other disabilities.
Swallowing difficulties can lead to changes to quality of life and health and it’s important to be aware of the signs and monitor swallowing difficulties when they are present.
What we do:
We conduct swallowing assessments and create mealtime management plans to ensure that clients eat and drink safely.
We also provide training for support workers and others around mealtime safety and diet and fluid modification.
Some Information about swallowing difficulties or dysphagia
What do swallowing difficulties look like? Swallowing difficulties can take a variety of forms, but here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Difficulty chewing food or moving it around your mouth.
- Food or fluids falling out of your mouth when you eat.
- Food pooling or pocketing in your mouth.
- Coughing when eating or drinking.
- Feeling like food is sticking in your throat.
- Having choking incidents.
- Feeling fearful about eating or drinking.
Having difficulties with swallowing can impact:
- socialising with friends/family
- eating out at restaurants or events
- nutrition and health
- independence and confidence
We believe that when managing swallowing difficulties it’s important to consider not only safety but also the quality of life and the enjoyment of meals. We focus on finding ways to make your favourite foods and drinks safe and enjoyable.
Food and mealtimes are such an important part of bonding with family and living life, so our speech pathologists can talk about how mealtime assessments can be done with these considerations in mind.
Assessment of swallowing disorders can be conducted in the client’s home, or residential care facilities. Following the assessment, a report will be provided with recommendations. Recommendations can include modifications to diet or fluids or strategies to help make swallowing more effective. In some cases, we can also suggest therapy techniques to improve swallowing.