SLPs Patty Hauserman and Patrice Bezik smiling

Food for Thought: tips to prevent choking

Welcome to our first Food for Thought segment! This insight is meant to help providers and DSPs gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to prevent choking risks for those with swalling difficulties.

Choking related MUIs still remain a concern across the State of Ohio for those we serve. From January 2022 through May 2023, Summit DD had 14 total MUIs involving an individual choking. Of these, eight of the 14 had Eating Guidelines approved in their ISP at the time of the incident occurring. For the six that did not have eating guidelines, three of them had Eating Guidelines implemented as part of the prevention plan. There were also two associated (substantiated) Neglects of the 14 choking incidents and sadly, one of the neglects directly led to the death of an individual served.

In order to proactively address choking incidents, the Summit DD MUI Dept. has teamed up with our on-staff Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) Patty Hauserman, to create a new segment for our MUI newsletter. Each quarter, Hauserman will provide a “Food For Thought” article to address concerns or offer support regarding choking risks for those we serve.

Food for Thought

Photo of Summit DD SLP Patty Hauserman

Summit DD SLP, Patty Hauserman

“The Average Person swallows around 600 times per day. That isn’t a big deal for those of us that don’t have trouble swallowing. But 1 in 17 Americans will experience some sort of swallowing difficulty (Dysphagia) during their lifetime.

People with Intellectual Disabilities experience swallowing difficulties up to three times more often. Altering dietary textures/liquids and developing safe eating strategies are pieces to the puzzle to help ensure that people with swallowing difficulties can eat and drink safely.

Summit DD is committed through the Eat Safe initiative to provide dysphagia services to individuals with Intellectual Disabilities who are experiencing swallowing issues. If you have any questions or serve an individual with eating, drinking or swallowing concerns, please feel free to contact either Patty Hauserman or Patrice Bezik.

Stayed tuned for more “Food for Thought” in our next MUI newsletter.

Additional Resources

For additional resources related to choking concerns and eating guidelines, please visit our Eat Safe Resources page or speak with the SSA involved.

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