Dysphagia is a problem worthy of further attention. Many patients have difficulty in swallowing and communication due to old age or radiotherapy that they have received before, and they may suffer from malnutrition and waste away because food stays in their oral cavity for prolonged periods. The Swallowing Research Laboratory of the University of Hong Kong has collaborated with Sik Sik Yuen in previous years to conduct research at the various care and attention homes for the elderly, day care centers, and Love@Home service providers. Elders undergoing the clinical evaluation received simple swallowing training administered by trained volunteers or staff, and about 70% of elders receiving the training had improved oral muscle function.
To draw the attention of others in the industry and the general public to dysphagia and people with swallowing difficulties, the Yuen and the University of Hong Kong jointly organize a “World Swallowing Day” in December every year to attract the attention and concern of people from all walks of life to the food and needs of people with swallowing difficulties.