Speech and Language Therapists at the Trust have supported Swallowing Awareness day with information stands at Bexhill Hospital, Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH – providing fun games and interactive activities including a quiz.
The aim of Swallowing Awareness Day is to raise awareness of swallowing disorders, the impact they can have, and the role a Speech and Language Therapists can play in supporting patients to eat, drink and swallow safely. The day was also supported by Tracey Peter, Mouthcare Matters Trust lead, who raised awareness of the importance of oral hygiene for swallowing disorders.
Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties 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.
Dysphagia can affect people at any stage of their lives, not exclusively the elderly, and speech and language therapists support and enable them to eat and drink safely – transforming negative experiences into positive ones.
Amy Schiwitz, Speech and Language Therapist said: “Swallowing is something everyone does but no one talks about. Swallowing problems can occur at any stage of life. Many people have swallowing difficulties after a serious incident such as a stroke, or as part of a life limiting disease or just as part of getting older. The Speech and Language Therapist’s role is to identify these difficulties and support people to eat and drink safely where this is at all possible.”