Swallowing Awareness Day

  • 3 mins

Did you know today is Swallowing Awareness Day?
Speech Pathology Australia is hosting Swallowing Awareness Day today, Wednesday March 18th, 2020.
• Around one million Australians have a swallowing difficulty
• Problems with swallowing can occur at any stage in life
The focus for Swallowing Awareness Day 2020 is all about raising awareness for a disorder that is not widely known and to connect those who suffer from the disorder with speech pathologists.
The theme for Swallowing Awareness Day this year is: Dysphagia: A difficult diagnosis to swallow!
What is Dysphagia?
Swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) is any problem with sucking, swallowing, drinking, chewing, eating, controlling saliva, taking medication, or protecting the lungs from food and drink ‘going the wrong way’. It can be a problem with keeping the lips closed so that food, liquid or saliva doesn’t dribble out and includes gastric reflux.
Reflux is a problem where the valves in the oesophagus cause the contents of the stomach (like food, drink or stomach acid) to come back up, sometimes reaching as far up as the throat and mouth.
Signs of Dysphagia:
Some of the signs of swallowing problems (dysphagia) can include:
• Coughing, throat clearing or discomfort while eating or drinking
• Increased difficulty/effort when chewing and /or swallowing
• Wet, gurgly voice during or immediately following meals
• Some food remaining inside the cheeks or on the roof of the mouth after swallowing
• Excessive drooling of saliva
• Loss of food/drink from the mouth/spitting out food
• Slow or absent chewing
• Slow/ minimal movement of food around the mouth
• Inability to cough, or a weak cough
• Chest infections/ increased temperature
• Tiring rapidly during a meal
• Food/drink coming out of the nose while eating or sneezing during a meal
• Gastric reflux and vomiting
• Unplanned weight loss/ dehydration
• Refusing to eat/drink
• Overfilling and/or rapidly filling the mouth
At HenderCare our team of speech pathologists understand the impact that swallowing difficulties can have on your health and quality of life.
We will work with you to identify and achieve your goals around safe and enjoyable mealtimes. Our experienced and friendly speech pathologists will conduct a swallowing assessment and make recommendations around the types of foods and drinks that will be safer and more comfortable for you to ingest. We also suggest adaptive equipment to support your independence at mealtimes and talk to you about strategies that can be used to optimize your safety and enjoyment while eating and drinking.
We can provide information around the preparation of modified diets and fluids and offer training to yourself, family members and/or care staff. We can also assist you to source and access mealtime equipment and products. We provide services to a wide range of clients with developmental, acquired and progressive conditions, and we can attend your home or community service provider, or you may prefer to visit us at our clinic for assessment and intervention.
Our speech pathologists can also provide follow up assessment, input and swallowing rehabilitation services, including reintroducing oral intake or dietary upgrades following an acute illness, sudden physical deterioration or on discharge home from hospital.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed about or have observed any signs of difficulty during mealtimes with someone you are caring for or supporting, please speak to your medical practitioner or contact us at alliedhealth@hendercare.com.au or on 1300 764 433 to arrange a swallowing assessment and mealtime support input form a speech pathologist.

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