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 "A Handbook on Dysphagia" (Patient Educ Guide) 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post "A Handbook on Dysphagia" (Patient Educ Guide)
An online friend recently shared a link to this Canadian hospitals' patient education guide on dysphagia (swallowing difficulty): ... ngbook.pdf

These topics are covered by the guide:

Table of Contents
What is dysphagia?
Common signs and symptoms
What is aspiration?
What is a dysphagia diet?
Dysphagia diet guidelines
Food consistency guidelines
How do I thicken my liquids?
How to puree foods at home?
Adaptive feeding equipment
Mouth and dental care guidelines
What can I do to improve drooling?
Safety considerations

Each section is short and the material is covered very clearly. In some cases, there are useful diagrams. I've copied two of the introductory sections below as examples. I'd recommend checking out the guide; it's only 20+ pages.


What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is a medical word that means, "difficulty swallowing".

There are many reasons why a person may have difficulty with swallowing. There may be problems with the muscles of the mouth, throat, or esophagus as a result of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, various other neurological disorders (MS, ALS, etc.), surgery or radiation (for mouth, throat, or esophageal cancer), and even old age.

When a swallowing problem is present, the normal eating and swallowing process may no longer be safe.

Every person with dysphagia is unique and may have different swallowing difficulties. A swallowing assessment by a registered speech-language pathologist should be done at the first signs of any difficulty swallowing. Your doctor should also be notified of your difficulty right away as dysphagia can often lead to serious complications such as weight loss, dehydration, and even pneumonia.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Dysphagia
* Choking on food
* Drooling or loss of food from the mouth
* Feeling as if food “sticks” in the throat
* Coughing during and/or after meals
* Slow, effortful eating or drinking
* Pocketing of food in cheeks
* Difficulty swallowing pills
* Avoiding certain foods or drinks (increased “pickiness”)
* Feeling like food or drink goes “down the wrong tube”
* Recurrent upper respiratory infections
* Weight loss and/or anorexia
* Gurgly/wet sounding voice

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:57 pm

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: "A Handbook on Dysphagia" (Patient Educ Guide)

Thank you for posting this booklet. I passed it on to the DON at Mom's facility and it looks like they will be planning an in-service around it.


Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]

Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:18 pm
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