June is #DysphagiaAwareness Month

By: Karen Sheffler

June 29, 2020

Caring for Caregivers: A Gallery of Infographics on

Reducing Dysphagia-Related Caregiver Burden

Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com

During the month of June 2020, have you been following #DysphagiaAwareness hashtags?

SwallowStudy and the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (ABSSD) focused awareness on caregivers across the lifespan. We specifically highlighted how to support people who are caring for care recipients/care partners who have conditions that cause dysphagia (#DysphagiaAwareness). As we learned on our last blog (Caring for Caregivers During COVID-19 & Beyond), when a care partner has difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), the impact on the caregiver is greater. In case you did not see all the infographics created by the public relations committee of the ABSSD, here is the full gallery.

You can also go to the ABSSD pages on Facebook (@BCSSwallowing), Twitter (@BoardSwallowing) and LinkedIn to share the infographics directly and continue to raise #dysphagiaawareness beyond June.

Make sure to see the Caring For Caregivers Webinar with researchers, a mom who is also an SLP (Theresa Richard, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S), and clinicians. See picture below for what we covered and who were our speakers. This was a Zoom meeting that was posted LIVE on ABSSD’s Facebook page on June 18. You can still see the recording on the facebook page, and see below for the embedded video. This ABSSD event was hosted by myself and Yvette McCoy, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S.

Caring for Caregivers: Reducing Dysphagia-Related Caregiver Burden. Webinar/discussion for #Dysphagiaawareness month - was live and now recorded one hour session on facebook @BCSSwallowing

#DysphagiaAwareness Month Webinar – Recording can be found on @BCSSwallowing (ABSSD’s Facebook page), and see embedded video below:


Now for the #DysphagiaAwareness &

#Caregivers Infographics Gallery:

Reciprocal caregiving - grandparents and children.


Caregiver statistics


Care for Caregivers general infographic


Caregiver research quotes


Road to equality in healthcare, focusing on caregiving of people with dementia, as June is Alzheimer's and Brain awareness month too.


Caregiving youth


Caring for pediatrics with difficulty feeding and swallowing. Pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders increase caregiver burden for the caregivers.


Thank you for reading and sharing to raise #DysphagiaAwareness!

If you want to raise #DysphagiaAwareness and support caregivers more, please check out our caregiver blog here, with special sections by Dr Shune and Dr Namasivayam-MacDonald. I also encourage you to watch the webinar and discussion from June 18, 2020 with these researchers, a mom who is also an SLP (Theresa Richard, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S), and clinicians on ABSSD’s Facebook page, or watch video embedded above. Here are sneak peaks with Dr Shune’s “MicDrop” and tips for how speech-language pathologists and healthcare providers can support caregivers.

Dr Samantha Shune's slide of her key points in raising #dysphagiaawareness and early dysphagia identification and treatment.

If that last slide is a bit fuzzy, allow me to print that again:

Actions on What Clinicians can do to Support Caregivers: 

  1. Identify dysphagia early.
  2. Engage caregivers in conversation.
  3. Provide education to both the caregiver and care recipient – verbally and on paper.
  4. Do not bombard the caregiver with information.
  5. Ask if caregivers feel that they are capable of carrying out the necessary caregiver duties.
  6. Avoid using medical jargon when talking to caregivers and people with dysphagia.
  7. Make referrals to counseling when appropriate/necessary.
  8. As of November 2020 – we can add a 26 question screening tool to our toolbox that can help us measure caregiver burden. This is similar to the EAT-10 we all use to measure dysphagia and quality of life burdens in individuals with dysphagia. Let’s include the primary caregivers with CARES:

CARES Screening Tool by Shune, S.E., Resnick, B., Zarit, S.H. & Namasivayam-MacDonald, A.M. (November, 2020). Creation and Initial Validation of the Caregiver Analysis of Reported Experiences with Swallowing Disorders (CARES) Screening Tool. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 29, 2131-2144. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_AJSLP-20-00148



(From Drs Shune & Namasivayam-MacDonald – per June 18, 2020 Webinar):

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