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Dysphagia: what learning disability nurses need to know

Swallowing difficulties are a common health risk for people with learning disabilities but small changes can make a big difference to a person’s quality of life

Swallowing difficulties are a common health risk for people with learning disabilities but small changes can make a big difference to a person’s quality of life

  • Swallowing difficulties are a problem and health risk for people with learning disabilities
  • Dysphagia can be managed with adaptations to food and equipment
  • Health promotion programmes are raising awareness of the risks and improving quality of life for individuals

Many people with learning disabilities have problems swallowing.

These difficulties leave people at risk of breathing in food or drink, leading to choking or a condition called aspiration pneumonia. Learning disability nurses can help to manage these risks.

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