Financial: Angela Mansolillo receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.
Non-Financial: Angela Mansolillo has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.
Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning
assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise
specified within the course.
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What's the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics that are distinct from and should not be confused with dysphagia. It is true, however, that dysphagia becomes more prevalent as we age and that aging may in some ways predispose us to swallowing difficulties. This course will describe changes in swallowing and supporting systems in the elderly that may contribute to dysphagia and enable clinicians to distinguish between normal aging and swallow dysfunction. It will also discuss potential interventions to improve nutrition and hydration, increase endurance, enhance swallow function, and support oral health in an aging population. Exercise, sensory interventions, oral hygiene, and medication management will be discussed as potential interventions.
Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a speech-language pathologist and board-certified specialist in swallowing disorders with more than 25 years of experience. She is currently a senior speech-language pathologist at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she provides evaluation and treatment services for adults and children with dysphagia and is involved in program planning and…
This chapter describes variability in normal swallowing in order to prepare for a discussion of changes with aging and changes in people with dysphagia. The chapter also focuses on the impact of bolus volume and viscosity on swallow response.
The second chapter of this course discusses changes in swallow function that occur as part of normal aging (i.e. presbyphagia), including the impact of aging on systems that support swallowing (e.g. gastrointestinal function, renal function). This chapter also distinguishes dysphagia from normal swallowing variability.
3. Sarcopenia Swallowing from Normal Aging
In this chapter, Angela Mansolillo defines frailty, sarcopenia and failure to thrive. She also discusses the relationship of these conditions to swallow dysfunction in the elderly.
4. Question and Answer
The final chapter of this course includes a question and answer session applying course concepts to real-world clinical scenarios.