Dysphagia and the Older Adult: Exercise in Swallow Rehabilitation

presented by Angela Mansolillo

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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.

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 over 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 development for inpatient and outpatient programming including quality improvement initiatives, patient education, and clinical policies and protocols. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member and provides clinical supervision at Elms College Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Over the course of her career, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, provided numerous regional and national presentations, and lectured at several colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts. Ms. Mansolillo received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Rhode Island College in 1983 and earned her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 1985 from the University of Connecticut. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing association and is a member of Special Interest Division 13, which focuses on swallowing and swallowing disorders.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Understanding Exercise

    1. Understanding Exercise

    To kick off a discussion of exercise in swallowing, Angela Mansolillo provides a review of the basic principles of exercise physiology and a discussion of how they apply to head and neck musculature. Clinicians will be provided with information to assist them in identification of appropriate candidates for exercise amongst their elderly clients.

  2. Exercise and Outcomes

    2. Exercise and Outcomes

    The second chapter of this course reviews a variety of specific swallow exercises and the evidence to support each one. Clinicians will learn how to choose an appropriate exercise for their client’s needs, and how to facilitate participation and adherence with an exercise program.

  3. Compensatory Strategies

    3. Compensatory Strategies

    In this chapter, viewers are provided with a variety of compensatory strategies specific to patient impairments for utilization in those for whom exercise is not an appropriate modality.

  4. Client Candidacy  - SLP

    4. Client Candidacy - SLP

    The final chapter of this course discusses client candidacy within the context of real-world clinical cases.