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Dysphagia and the Older Adult: The Aging Swallow

presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

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Disclosure Statement:

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.

Meet Your Instructor

Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

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…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Variability in Normal Swallow Physiology

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.

2. Impact of Aging

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.

More Courses in this Series

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Pneumonia in the Elderly

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Pneumonia in the Elderly

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. This course will describe changes in swallowing and supporting systems in the elderly that may contribute to dysphagia and allow clinicians to distinguish between normal aging and swallow dysfunction. Specifically, this course reviews pneumonia and its implications, including types of pneumonia, pulmonary clearance mechanisms and the effects of pneumonia on those systems, and risk factors for pneumonia. The course concludes with a discussion of real world case scenarios involving pneumonia management.

View full course details

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Oral Healthcare

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Oral Healthcare

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. This course will discuss potential interventions to improve and support oral health in an aging population. Topics include changes in saliva and oral flora with aging, assessment and intervention to support oral hygiene, and cost reduction through improved oral care.

View full course details

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Improving Nutrition and Hydration

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Improving Nutrition and Hydration

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. This course specifically tackles dehydration in the elderly, including how to recognize those at risk, and the pros and cons of thick liquid utilization in clients at risk for dehydration are reviewed. The course also discusses risk factors for malnutrition as we age, including the pros and cons of dietary modifications in clients at risk of nutritional compromise. This course also provides a rationale for diet liberalization in institutionalized elderly clients.

View full course details

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Exercise in Swallow Rehabilitation

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Exercise in Swallow Rehabilitation

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. This course provides a review of the basic principles of exercise physiology and a discussion of how they apply to head and neck musculature. Clinicians will learn how to choose appropriate exercises for their client’s needs, and to facilitate participation and adherence with an exercise program. This course also provides a variety of compensatory strategies specific to patient impairments for utilization in those for whom exercise is not an appropriate modality.

View full course details

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Sensory Interventions for Swallow Function

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Sensory Interventions for Swallow Function

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. In particular, this course discusses the role of sensory input in swallowing. Gustatory, olfactory, thermal, and chemesthetic input are highlighted in light of their contribution to the swallow response. Additionally, this course reviews potential sensory enhancements to foods and liquids that can improve swallow function. Finally, the evidence for use of sensory input in improving swallow function is reviewed.

View full course details

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Medication Management

Presented by Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Medication Management

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
What’s the difference between dysphagia and a normal, aging swallow? The aging swallow has specific characteristics which 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 pre-dispose us to swallowing difficulties. The final course in the Dysphagia and the Older Adult series discusses medication induced dysphagia, the mechanics of pill swallowing, and the consequences of common formulation modifications, including crushing. Commonly prescribed medication categories will be reviewed specific to their potential impact on swallow function in the elderly, and interventions for medication induced dysphagia will be provided. The course concludes by providing clinicians with strategies and compensations to improve pill swallowing in their elderly clients.

View full course details

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