IQoro helps residents regain the ability to eat

Dysphagia hits the eldest hardest

Swallowing difficulties are common amongst the elderly, muscles weaken with age, coordination worsens and neurological events like stroke, degenerative diseases and dementia often bring dysphagia in their wake.

Many would like to improve nutrition for elderly family or patients and help them regain their quality of life at mealtimes but are unaware that this is possible. Many believe that swallowing dysfunction is a given that cannot be improved – but it can. Studies referenced by NICE show that this is possible, even many years after onset.

Read more about dysphagia in the elderly

Drooling is upsetting for all

Dribbling and drooling are upsetting for sufferers and their families. It is usually associated with a poor reflexive swallowing ability and is aggravated when facial muscles are weakened, and lip strength is poor.

IQoro is proven to often have a rapid effect on improving saliva control – especially in the elderly but also in other groups including young people with Cerebral Palsy.

Pneumonia is a common complication

People who have an impaired swallow may experience pneumonia if food or drink is aspirated into the lungs and causes an infection. Misdirected swallowing of saliva can have the same effect if oral hygiene is poor.

Regaining a safe swallow with IQoro training reduces these risks.  

Speech and facial expression may be impaired

Speech can be slurred or indistinct when facial muscles are weak, this also inhibits facial expression. Stroke survivors often suffer from this legacy condition.

Training with IQoro is shown in scientific studies to address the issues of weakness in the facial and tongue muscles and the neurological systems that control them.

Reflux is more common in the elderly

Reflux and GORD increase in prevalence with age. An underlying Hiatus hernia is the usual cause when a partial rupture in the diaphragm muscle allows the stomach to reflux its contents into the oesophagus. Heartburn, thick phlegm and food becoming stuck in the throat or chest are usual symptoms.

Studies referenced by NICE show how IQoro training strengthens the rupture and removes the underlying cause of the reflux.

Snoring and sleep apnoea can be serious

Weakened muscles and muscle control in the tongue, pharynx and soft palate lead to snoring or even sleep apnoea. The latter is linked by NICE and NHS guidelines to hypertension and increased risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

IQoro training addresses and strengthens 148 muscles in the swallowing and respiratory systems and restores the ability to sleep without interruptions or invasive CPAP equipment.

Read more about snoring and sleep apnoea

Degenerative conditions increase with age

Parkinson’s, dementia, ALS and other degenerative diseases often bring swallowing difficulties and other problems in their wake.  

There are no scientific studies yet that show the effect of IQoro on swallowing dysfunction caused by these neurological conditions, but clinical experience shows equal success in having a positive effect, at least in the short term. 

Improving nutrition in a Care Home – the mealtime project

A residential Care Home for the elderly in Sweden decided to address the issues of malnutrition and dehydration amongst their residents. Presentation of food was made more attractive, mealtimes became smaller and more frequent, and menus were redesigned. But an underlying problem remained – most residents in elderly care have trouble in swallowing. No matter how good the food and its presentation, dysphagia makes eating slow, difficult or impossible.

A project to train and improve the residents’ swallowing abilities was designed. In the following videos you’ll see how the home’s management were enthusiastic about the possibilities, how the carers were initially sceptical, and how they all felt positive after the project.

One video shows 99-year old Ernst being helped to train with IQoro – despite his diagnosis of dementia – and regain normal mealtime experience. It’s never too late to start!

The final report shows weight-gain, improved saliva control, reduced pneumonia cases, and other positive outcome results.

Intro. How the project was conceived.

Regional care home management – ‘What we hoped to achieve’.

How IQoro works, and the SOFIA study.

The care staff had initial reservations – valid operational concerns.

Some key success factors learned

Treating a 99-year old with dementia

The care staff reflect on the overall effect of the project

The mealtime project (all parts).

How to train with IQoro

It’s a simple process. The device is placed behind the lips and in front of the teeth. With lips firmly sealed, the device is pulled forwards to create a low-pressure in the oral cavity and beyond. This action causes the muscles and organs used in a swallow to move as they should, and the sensory nerves thus stimulated provoke a motoric response that commands all 148 muscles in the swallowing chain.

Training takes 30 seconds, three times a day and the neuromuscular exercise restores muscle strength and control.

Training may be carried out by the individual without assistance, or with help from an assistant. These links show videos, X-ray videos, animations, and documents on how to train.

•    Animation showing unassisted use.

•    Animation showing assisted use.

•    Video showing a model exercising with IQoro.  

•    An X-ray video that shows SLTs the internal effect of the training action.  

•    How to train without assistance (pdf)

•    How to assist someone to train with IQoro (pdf)

•    How to assist using a jaw grip (pdf)

•    I’m not sure I’m training properly (pdf)

A study of swallowing ability and improvement in intermediate residential care

SOFIA (Swallowing function, Oral health, and Food Intake in old Age) was a randomized control trial (RCT) that looked at the prevalence of swallowing dysfunction amongst 385 people between 65 and 100 years old and resident in 36 intermediate care homes. Half of the care homes used IQoro intervention, and the remainder were a control group using conventional and compensatory techniques.

Dementia and Care Home Exhibition

The Dementia and Care Home Exhibition will be held on March 17th and 18th 2020 at the NEC in Birmingham. The Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo offers visitors an education opportunity unlike any other thanks to its masterclass programme. The CPD accredited masterclasses at the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo are a fantastic way for visitors to accrue CPD points in an interactive environment.

IQoro will be presenting a session at this event titled “How prevalent are swallowing difficulties in the elderly?” A scientific study (SOFIA) has screened 385 people over 65 years old in intermediate care and measured the effect of swallowing rehabilitation. See also how a swallowing intervention programme was implemented in a residential care home: including video interviews with both management and care staff. Learn 3 test methodologies useable in the care home setting to diagnose dysphagia and track improvement – without resort to hospital visits for expensive high-tech examinations

IQoro PEACH (Programme for Early Adopters in Care Homes)

The company is considering supporting a very limited number of IQoro evaluation programmes in UK Care Homes to help define best practice and develop insights and resources that would support future similar organisations in IQoro deployment. Similar work has been carried out in UK hospitals with IQoro providing project support.

Please contact us with your interest.