Texture modification is when food is mashed or pureed to make it safer to eat. When people have problems with swallowing, or controlling food within their mouth, they may require a texture modified diet to reduce the risk of choking or aspiration (food or fluid going into the airway).
A texture modified diet is most commonly needed in Patients with stroke, progressive neurological disorders (motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease), learning disabilities, elderly patients and some cancers or injury affecting the head and neck.
Attempting to swallow foods or liquids without the ability to do so carries a high risk of aspiration. This can contribute to chest infections, lung abscesses, aspiration pneumonia and acute asphyxiation.
Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) will assess the individual’s swallowing ability and provide guidance to the ward on appropriate texture modifications to ensure the patient is safe while eating and drinking, to minimise the risk of aspiration.
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