Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Management

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What to expect

Eating, drinking and swallowing management

Our speech and language therapists help and support individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

An individual who is not able to eat, drink and swallow effectively or safely will have an eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty, this is often termed dysphagia.

What is eating drinking and swallowing management?

Eating, drinking and swallowing management is any form of treatment which supports and treats individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. Our speech and language therapists will offer a range of treatment options to help and support an individual with eating drinking and swallowing difficulties. Our speech and language therapists will also support the individual's parents / carers and other professionals involved in their care regarding their eating, drinking and swallowing requirements.

Eating, drinking and swallowing management can include:

Diet modification

Diet modification involves modifying the texture of an individual's food or drink. Diet modification helps an individual to eat and drink more safely and to reduce the risk of aspiration (food going into the lungs). Diet modification includes modifying the texture of food and liquid, for example thickening liquid with thickening products. Solid foods can be softened or pureed.

Compensatory strategies

Compensatory strategies are strategies given to the individual and their parent or carer in helping them to eat and drink more safely and effectively. The speech and language therapist will advise and demonstrate specific strategies which can help the individual whilst eating and drinking. Posture positioning is an example of a compensatory strategy which can help an individual to eat, drink and swallow more effectively.

Direct therapy

Our speech and language therapists can also offer direct one to one therapy which will involve specific techniques and therapy programmes to help support an individual's eating, drinking and swallowing ability.

Support, training and advice

Our speech and language therapists will offer support, training and advice for the individuals, their parents / carers and other professionals involved in their care. Support, training and advice can be given on strategies and diet modification which will help the individual eat, drink and swallow more safely. Education on the signs and symptoms of aspiration and dysphagia can also be given to help support carers and other professionals in identifying Individual's with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

Our speech and language therapists will continuously monitor and reassess an individual's eating, drinking and swallowing ability. Assessment and reassessment will help to decide whether the individual has made any progress, and whether their treatment can be altered and progressed to the next stage.

The type of treatment option chosen for the individual will depend on a number of factors including, the severity of the individual's eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty, their overall ability, their environmental needs and the underlying cause of their eating and drinking difficulty.

The speech and language therapist will work closely with other medical professionals, the individual and also the individual's parents or carers when deciding on what treatment approach to take. The individual's wishes will be regarded at all times and will be paramount in the decision making process.

What conditions can eating, drinking and swallowing management help with?

Eating, drinking and swallowing management can help any condition which may cause eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. Eating drinking and swallowing management can help both children and adults with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties which may be caused by:

Children

Adults

What are the benefits of eating, drinking and swallowing management?

There are many benefits of eating, drinking and swallowing management. The main benefit is to improve the individual's eating, drinking and swallowing ability and for them to eat, drink and swallow as safely and independently as possible. Other benefits of eating, drinking and swallowing management include:

  • Allowing the individual to participate in social opportunities involving eating and drinking.
  • Parent or carer training and advice.
  • Advice and training for other professionals involved in the individual's care.
  • Increased independence when eating and drinking.
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem.
  • Increased nutritional status.

How can I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for eating, drinking and swallowing?

If you would like to arrange an initial assessment with one of our speech and language therapists or would like any more information on our speech and language therapy services then please email us office@slt.co.uk or call us on 0330 0885 643.

Summary

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties are when an individual is unable to eat, drink or swallow safely. Eating and drinking difficulties are also known as dysphagia. Different treatment options are available for individuals with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. The type of treatment offered will vary for each individual and will be tailored to their specific needs and abilities. Advice, support and training can also be provided for parents / carers and other professionals involved in the individual's care. Our speech and language therapists will improve and support an individual's ability to eat and drink as safely and independently as possible.

To arrange a speech and language therapy appointment for eating, drinking and swallowing please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 0885 643.





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To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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