There is an increased prevalence of swallowing problems in older age due to age-related diseases, comorbidities and the effects of multiple medications, Jardine explains.
University of Auckland doctoral candidate Marie Jardine is investigating age-related swallowing changes, particularly in adults 80-years-old and over.
Jardine says prior research has mostly focused on the 60-80 years bracket, however with the world’s ageing population, there is a need to look at how swallowing changes for the very old.
“Understanding healthy swallowing is critical for clinicians so that they can differentiate between normal variance and pathology. As you can imagine, living with swallowing difficulties can have serious physical, emotional and social implications,” she says.
Jardine’s current research took her to San Diego in March this year, where she received an award to present at two conferences in Japan in September. Her next project is in collaboration with a swallowing research team at Flinders University in Adelaide, who are international leaders in a novel swallowing assessment: high-resolution manometry.
Therefore, Jardine is looking to promote her study in order to recruit healthy adults (80+years) to attend a swallowing assessment in Grafton, Auckland.
If you are a healthy adult aged 80 or over and interested in participating in this study, please contact Marie Jardine, PhD candidate and Speech-language therapist: firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 4153 0995. Participants will be compensated
for their time with a supermarket voucher per appointment. This study has been approved by the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committees (Approval no.19/NTA/4).