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For patients with eating, swallowing or self-feeding difficulties, it can be challenging to meet daily nutrition requirements. That’s why Atlantic Rehabilitation provides meal management and swallowing therapy services under the supervision of a team of nurses, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation aides and a registered dietician.
During meals, our specialists monitor the texture, rate and amount of food the patient is able to swallow. Based upon the results, they may recommend supplements or alternative food selections to maximize nutrition. The patient’s family is also instructed in meal supervision, including how to identify solid food structures and liquid consistencies, and provide encouragement.
To ensure patients are able to swallow a variety of different textured foods and fluids without choking, we teach them swallowing and positioning techniques, including proper eating posture. In some cases, adaptive feeding equipment or VitalStim® therapy – a device that electrically stimulates the muscles of the throat to improve swallowing – may be necessary.