When eating and drinking is life threatening

I bet you missed Swallowing Day this year. It’s not really a day that jumps out on most calendars. Frankly, swallowing isn’t something that most people even think about, until it becomes a problem.

Not many of us would realise that for some, eating and drinking is a life threatening activity. Our professional body, Speech Pathology Australia, chose to highlight swallowing for a whole week earlier this year. The statistics are very interesting, and the numbers show that there’s a lot of opportunity for speech pathologists to work with patients who have difficulties swallowing.

More than 1 million people in Australia have difficulty swallowing, and 1 in 17 people will develop some form of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) in their lifetime. A difficulty swallowing may be caused by stroke, accident, ageing or a range of other factors.

swallowing stats

For Endeavour Speech Pathology, June is Swallowing Training Month specifically for hospital and aged care facility kitchen teams.

I’ll be visiting kitchen teams all over the North Coast of NSW giving presentations about the importance of modified diets for patients with swallowing difficulties, and the importance of the texture of food for the safety of these patients.

My presentations will provide education about swallowing difficulties: how a Speech Pathologist assesses a patient’s swallow, and what is a modified diet is, and why those different textures are important to keep the patient safe. I hope the presentations will empower kitchen team-members at the coalface of foodservice to feel more confident in providing a diet that will help improve their patient’s health.
I’d love to come and talk to your team. Please send me an email or give me a call to arrange your visit.

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