Swallowing difficulties

People with dementia can lose the ability to undertake everyday activities including eating and drinking. This may mean they are no longer able to recognise food or know what to do with it, and therefore develop swallowing difficulties. 

Swallowing problems in people with dementia is more to do with physical deterioration of the swallowing reflex, plus the damage to the person's brain affecting the signals of how to eat and swallow. 

Not recognising food or knowing what to do with it is more closely linked to malnutrition than dysphagia.


Contents of this mini book:

  • Introducing the safer swallowing
  • Swallowing difficulties and dementia
  • Dysphagia
  • Treating swallowing difficulties / dysphagia
  • Important note on treatments
  • Causes of dysphagia
  • Safer swallowing is important because...
  • Position and safer swallowing
  • Sign and symptoms of dysphagia
  • Impacts of dysphagia on the person
  • The potential to choke on saliva, phlegm and vomit
  • Supporting people with swallowing difficulties
  • Food presentation and ideas