The golden rules of swallowing (PEARS)
- Sit upright, at 90 degree angle.
- The head should never be tipped back.
- Reduce distractions, such as television, noise or lots of people around
- Only offer food and drink to someone who is awake and alert.
Ensure the mouth is clear and clean at the end of a meal. This may involve removing bits of food from the mouth.
Small mouthfuls, slowly
- Watch, wait and listen for the swallow before offering another mouthful
- Encourage people to feed themselves whenever possible.
- Sometimes a drink can help food go down, but do not mix food and fluids in the same mouthful.
- Avoid straws and spouts whenever possible; give fluids from an open cup.
- Smaller, more frequent meals may be less tiring.
- Softer foods are generally easier to manage than dry or chewy textures.