Often when elderly people have difficulty swallowing it is due to a slowing down or lack of coordination of the muscles involved in the swallow reflex. A speech pathologist is involved in the assessment and management of these swallowing difficulties and one way to make swallowing safer and easier for people with swallowing difficulties or Dysphagia is to thicken the fluids they are drinking. This allows more time for the muscles to react to the fluid and to get into place and happen in a well timed manner.
Thickeners are additives that create any desired consistency without changing the taste of hot and cold pureed foods and beverages. Thick-It® is the leading retail brand of Dysphagia nutrition solutions and they have recently launched a ProCare Sampling Program to make it easier for healthcare professionals to educate patients about nutrition options for those with swallowing disorders. The Thick-It® ProCare Sampling Program allows health professionals to request resources for patient education and to order customized product kits designed to meet the needs of their specific patients.
“Our goal is to support those professionals who help patients adopt new eating and drinking practices after a Dysphagia diagnosis,” says, Jamie Collins, Director of Marketing for Kent Precision Foods Group, the manufacturer of Thick-It®. Each kit can include retail coupons, literature, patient education materials and product samples.
Thick-It was first introduced in 1987 and in 2005 Thick-It dietitians developed an innovated line of pureed foods, made from real food ingredients. Thick it ‘s other products include a line of ready-to-drink, pre-thickened beverages, which come in a variety of flavours including water, juice and coffee which means they are more palatable and require no preparation making them suitable to elderly populations. All Thick-It Dysphagia nutrition management products are available at pharmacies across Australia and internationally and if they are medically required, can be claimed through DVA.