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Dysphagia in the Older Adult: The Roles of SpeechLanguage Pathologists and Occupational Therapists

Boczko, Faerella MS, CCC, BRS-S; Feightner, Kathryn BS, OTR/L

doi: 10.1097/01.TGR.0000284766.30549.06
Article

Swallowing problems can occur in any population but are more prevalent with the older adult. Many older adults have multiple physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments that make swallowing and feeding difficult. This article explores and identifies the roles of the speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist in assessing and treating the older adult with dysphagia. The process of assessing and treating the older adult patient with swallowing impairments requires a thorough knowledge in anatomy and physiology of the normal mechanisms involved in feeding and swallowing as well as knowledge about the effects of the aging process on feeding and swallowing.

From the Departments of Speech-Language Pathology and Swallowing Center (Ms Boczko) and Occupational Therapy (Ms Feightner), The Jewish Home and Hospital Lifecare System, Bronx, NY.

Corresponding author: Faerella Boczko, MS, CCC, BRS-S, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Swallowing Center, The Jewish Home and Hospital Lifecare System, 100 West Kingsbridge Rd, Bronx, NY 10468 (e-mail: fboczko@jhha.org).

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.