We are joining the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in promoting Swallowing Awareness Day on Wednesday 13 March 2019 to highlight the importance of care for people who have difficulties with eating and drinking.
Dysphagia is the word used to describe eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties which can have potentially life-threatening consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family. Speech and language therapists offer support to those affected with dysphagia to eat, drink and swallow safely.
Speech and Language Therapists across our Intensive Assessment and Treatment Teams (IATT) in North, Mid, Exeter and East, West and South and Torbay are holding events across the week to raise awareness and to remind staff about the new international texture descriptors, called IDDSI, which all speech and language therapists should be using by 1 April 2019. This day also links in with Nutrition and Hydration week which is being promoted across local hospitals and by our nursing colleagues.