Swallowing Awareness Day 2024

Swallowing Awareness Day 2024

A graphic saying Swallowing Awareness Day 13 March 2024 #SwallowAware2024. With illustrations of a woman eating, and man drinking and a man at a table eating.

Today is Swallowing Awareness Day 2024! It is a time to raise awareness about swallowing difficulties, particularly around eating, drinking and swallowing, and the impactful role of speech and language therapists (SALTs) in improving the quality of life for the patients we care for facing these challenges at services across the country.

“In my role as the professional lead for therapies, I have been fortunate enough to visit some of our neurological rehabilitation centres and met some of our incredible therapists, among them being speech and language therapists (SALTs). 

“On Swallowing Awareness Day, I thought it was a great opportunity for one of our experienced SALTs to share with colleagues the very important and impactful work they do for patients and residents who experience difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing, and how these interventions contribute to increasing a person’s quality of life,” — Ashleigh Gonsalves, Professional Lead for Therapies, Active Care Group.

That perfectly sums up the purpose of today. Swallowing Awareness Day not only shines a light on the challenges individuals face with eating, drinking, and swallowing but also celebrates the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to help people.

“As a speech and language therapist, I’m responsible for assessing residents for swallowing difficulties and working with them on their goals to progress them further. It’s very rewarding to see a resident progress from being nil by mouth to eating and drinking again. 

“Eating and drinking is an important and often key area for our residents to work on if they have difficulties. When we can progress residents with their swallowing, it is very rewarding to see,”  Nicholas Sobieraj, Speech and Language Therapist, Nottingham Neurological Rehabilitation Centre.

It’s wonderful to hear from Nicholas about the invaluable contributions of SALTs in facilitating the journey towards improved swallowing function. From assessment to goal-setting and rehabilitation, SALTs play a pivotal role in restoring some of life’s most fundamental activities — like eating and drinking.

Swallowing difficulties can arise from various conditions such as having a stroke, neurological conditions, or aging-related issues. These challenges not only impact physical health but also pose significant emotional and mental health issues. However, with early intervention and specialised therapy, people can regain their swallowing function, enhancing their overall wellbeing and quality of life.

Today, let’s take a moment to recognise and appreciate the dedication of SALTS worldwide, and particularly those working here at Active Care Group, who are committed to empowering individuals with swallowing difficulties. Their expertise, compassion, and unwavering support makes a profound difference to the lives of our patients and their families.