Normal Swallowing in the Geriatric Population Aging is “an inevitable biological process in all living organisms” (Shadden & Toner, 1997). Inherent in this process are incremental changes which lead to progressive decreases in the basic functioning of organ systems (Kane, Ouslander, & Abrass, 1994). As higher-level functions are affected, progressive impairments in overall physical, mental, ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2001
Normal Swallowing in the Geriatric Population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gary H. McCullough
    University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2001
Normal Swallowing in the Geriatric Population
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2001, Vol. 10, 14-18. doi:10.1044/sasd10.1.14
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2001, Vol. 10, 14-18. doi:10.1044/sasd10.1.14
Aging is “an inevitable biological process in all living organisms” (Shadden & Toner, 1997). Inherent in this process are incremental changes which lead to progressive decreases in the basic functioning of organ systems (Kane, Ouslander, & Abrass, 1994). As higher-level functions are affected, progressive impairments in overall physical, mental, and psychosocial functions become apparent.
Over the past decade, professional and public attention has begun to focus more and more on what has been referred to as the “graying of America” (Shadden & Toner, 1997). This trend has erupted with good reason, as the percentage of individuals over the age of 65 is rapidly increasing. By the year 2050, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will increase from 35 million (present) to 78 million (Barczi, Sullivan, & Robbins, 2000), and the fastest growing segment of the elderly is what has been referred to as the “oldest-old” (Logemann, 1990), or those over 85 years of age. For individuals who work with the geriatric population, including specialists in swallowing disorders, one of the current challenges is to refine our understanding of “normal” swallowing in the geriatric population. By more clearly defining “normal,” disorders placing the elderly at risk for deterioration in overall health or social well-being may be diagnosed earlier, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful intervention. In terms of swallowing function, this means defining the anatomical, neurological, and physiological changes that occur with increasing age and exploring how those changes may impact swallowing safety, efficiency, and quality of life.
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.