Case Study: Frail Patient Upgrades Diet after Using SwallowSTRONG

Bernice, an 81-year-old resident in a skilled nursing facility, was having difficulty swallowing, but was also generally a frail patient. She suffered from general weakness, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, and recurrent pneumonia.
 
When she underwent her swallowing evaluation, Bernice was coughing and choking during meals, despite being on a diet of mechanical soft solids and nectar-thick liquids. According to her therapist, Bernice was “not at all happy,” about her modified diet, and her liquid intake was reduced while on it. Patients with recurrent pneumonia sometimes must be on a modified diet to prevent food “going down the wrong pipe” and into the lungs.
Bernice underwent strengthening therapy using the SwallowSTRONG five to six times a week for eight weeks, focusing on the front and back portions of the tongue. By the fourth week, her swallowing had improved and her diet was upgraded to a full regular diet.
 
Check out Bernice’s full case study here.
A note on case studies: Individual names have been changed to protect patient identities, but the stories and data contained in these studies are generated by real patients.

VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG Patient Testimonial

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, impacts a wide range of patients. Swallowing problems often occur in patients with weak lingual musculature, but can also be caused by stroke, Parkinson’s Disease or cancers of the head and neck.

Mark, a head and neck cancer survivor, is one such patient. After being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he began to encounter swallowing problems. He found it harder and harder to swallow, and often found that he would aspirate, or have things he swallowed go down the wrong pipe, straight into his lungs.

Then Mark found treatment with the SwallowSTRONG System. In the video below, Mark describes his positive experience with the SwallowSTRONG therapy solution.

Check out Mark’s story:

For more information, visit swallowsolutions.com

VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG Mouthpiece Configuration

A video guide for clinicians working with the SwallowSTRONG on how to properly configure the patient mouthpiece.

Swallow Solutions Mouthpiece Configuration from Swallow Solutions on Vimeo.

REMINDER: We have a full library of training resources and videos available on our website. Bookmark this page, and save it for later!

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VIDEO: SwallowSTRONG System Overview

Our latest video, embedded below, shows how patients and clinicians can use the SwallowSTRONG System from Swallow Solutions to treat dysphagia.

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Swallow Solutions Mourns Patient, Friend Jane Marita

We are sad to report a close friend of Swallow Solutions and one of the first users of our strengthening system has passed away after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Jane Marita started with the program when she was first diagnosed with ALS and used the system every other day until her death, three years later. She credited oropharyngeal strengthening with allowing her to safely eat burritos (extra sauce!) even as the other challenges of ALS were taking their toll.  

She will be missed.

Swallowing Problems? Understand Your Treatment Options

If you or a loved one is having difficulty swallowing, it’s important to understand the treatment options available to you.

Thickened fluids and foods. G-tubes. These have their place and can be an important piece of a course of treatment. However, there’s another option that can help patients regain the ability to swallow after treatment: the SwallowSTRONG System by Swallow Solutions.

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What is the SwallowSTRONG?

The SwallowSTRONG is a device that pairs cutting-edge technology and evidence-based practices for an innovative solution to swallowing problems. Designed for use in the home, under the guidance of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or other qualified clinician, the SwallowSTRONG helps patients strengthen the muscles of the mouth and throat, making it easier for patients to swallow.

Does it work?

Yes. Independent studies have found that that treatment with the SwallowSTRONG has resulted in fewer hospital admissions, upgraded diets and improved quality of life.

Is it affordable?

Swallow Solutions is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of patients with swallowing disorders, and have developed a rental model that will make treatment with the SwallowSTRONG more affordable than ever.

Patients can now rent a SwallowSTRONG System directly from Swallow Solutions for only $200 a month (typical treatment course is 2-3 months). With the one-time purchase of the $195 mouthpiece required for each individual, patients can get access to treatment for a total cost of less than $600.

How can I learn more?

If the SwallowSTRONG System sounds like it could be a solution to your swallowing problem, contact Swallow Solutions at 608-238-6678 for more information.
NOTE: Every patient is different and treatment decisions should be made under the guidance of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or other qualified clinician.

Something to Be Thankful For

This week, many of us will gather with friends and family to give thanks the things we’re grateful for. We’ll sit around tables laden with all varieties of different food, and come back for seconds (or thirds).

But the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t so easy for people with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.

For these people, eating or drinking can be a difficult, even dangerous task. The inability to swallow limits their ability to partake in holiday meals. These people often withdraw from meals, making Thanksgiving feel quite lonesome.

But here’s something to be thankful for: a new innovation called the SwallowSTRONG.

The SwallowSTRONG is a therapy device that helps dysphagia patients regain the ability to eat and drink safely by strengthening the muscles involved in the swallowing process.

After undergoing treatment with the SwallowSTRONG, dysphagia patients can once again have a seat at the table.

CASE STUDY: Patient with Aneurysm and Severe Dysphagia has G-tube Removed After Using SwallowSTRONG

The patient, “John” has lived in a skilled nursing facility in Texas since suffering a large aneurysm. For 2.5 years, John received all nutrition via a G-tube. The speech pathologist, Emily –  employed by Rehab Synergies – had worked with John before, but was able to pick him back up on caseload when she got the SwallowSTRONG System. The SwallowSTRONG technology allowed for a new and more systematic approach to oropharyngeal strengthening.

At the start of therapy with the SwallowSTRONG, John was barely able to move his tongue. Under the excellent direction of Emily, he progressively strengthened his swallowing muscles, and is now able to eat orally and had the G-tube removed. 

Emily reported, “The patient and family loved seeing the progress in real time with the user interface as well as the progress printouts from the SwallowSTRONG Management System. SwallowSTRONG allowed us to push for maximum improvement and validated that patient was making progress. It’s definitely a great product to have in your therapy arsenal, especially after seeing the impact it made on such a severe case.”

John, his family,Emily and the team are all celebrating these significant improvements in swallowing safety and quality of life!

Recognizing Swallowing Problems in People with Dementia

Dysphagia is a serious issue regardless of other conditions the person may have. It can lead to serious health consequences, like malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia, and reduced quality of life.

But the condition can be even more difficult for people with dementia, and diagnosing a swallowing problem in a demented person can be difficult. Dementia patients may have difficulty communicating, or may forget that they have issues with swallowing food or drink.

How can clinicians or caretakers guard against dysphagia in patients with dementia?

Here are some subtle signs that may indicate a swallowing problem:

  • Coughing during eating
  • Constant clearing of the throat
  • Grimaces or painful expression during eating
  • Holding food in the side of the mouth
  • Spitting out food
  • Drooling while eating
  • Eating too fast
  • Unexpected weight lost
  • Wet, gurgle or hoarse-sounding voice
  • Touching the upper chest or throat when eating
  • Taking too much time to eat
  • Sorting, arranging, or playing with food
  • Excessive chewing, but no swallowing
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose

(Click here for more suggestions on recognizing, diagnosing and treating dysphagia in demented patients).

Swallow Solutions offers an innovative dysphagia treatment device called the SwallowSTRONG. The device strengthens the muscles involved in the swallow, and can help some people regain their ability to swallow. And, it’s so intuitive, patients with dementia have had success with the device.

SwallowSTRONG Rental Program

We believe so strongly in the efficacy of the SwallowSTRONG product that we want to make it easier for more people suffering with dysphagia or difficulty swallowing to get access to the product.

That’s why we’re offering a new rental program, making SwallowSTRONG and all the benefits it brings more affordable than ever.

Patients who use the SwallowSTRONG can increase the strength of the muscles involved in the complex process of the swallow.

With the new Swallow Solutions rental program, renters can get access to the SwallowSTRONG for a security deposit of $250 and $200 a month.

Purchase a per-patient mouthpiece for $315, and it’s yours to keep.

A typical therapy course with the SwallowSTRONG lasts two months. That means that for a total investment of $715 ($250 security deposit, two months rental fee at $200/month, $315 mouthpiece), renters can improve the health and quality of life of patients with dysphagia.

Learn more about the Swallow Solutions rental program by clicking here, or contact Swallow Solutions.

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