Article

Dysphagia

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 61-71

First online:

Aspiration and the elderly

  • Michael J. FeinbergAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Albert Einstein Medical Center
  • , Janice KneblAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital
  • , Joann TullyAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Philadelphia Geriatric Center
  • , Linda SegallAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Philadelphia Geriatric Center

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Abstract

Aspiration is prevalent in the elderly but its association with impairment of oral intake and gastroesophageal reflux is often misunderstood. This paper describes the causes, pathophysiology, and consequences of aspiration and their unique features in aged persons. It also explains how videofluoroscopic evaluation can assess current function while limiting factors that result in misinformation. The management of aspiration is discussed, emphasizing the importance and difficulties in maintaining functional well-being and possible complications of therapy.

Key words

Aspiration Aspiration pneumonia Swallowing, geriatrics Deglutition Deglutition disorders