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Slõ Syrup makes thickening drinks simple

If you are living with dysphagia, you’ll find thickened drinks tricky to make and disappointing to drink when made with powdered thickeners.

But you are not alone.

Even health professionals who work with dysphagia patients day in, day out, can find old-fashioned tinned thickening powders inconvenient. Everyone is familiar with the ‘scoop and hope’ approach to achieving the appropriate IDDSI Level and the “scoop stress” this causes. Well…that’s history.

Multiple tastes, one thickening solution

At Slõ, we created Slõ Syrup as the modern easy-to-use alternative that thickens any water-based drink in just five minutes.

It couldn’t be simpler to make a hot or cold drink to the IDDSI Level prescribed as safer for the drinker.

In a bottle with a pump, it’s simply one pre-measured pump for every IDDSI level. So that would be one pump for IDDSI Level 1, two pumps for IDDSI Level 2, and three for Level 3. Making a drink is simple…

  1. Pour 200ml of cold drink into a cup
  2. Add Slõ Syrup according to the IDDSI Level required
  3. Mix for 30 seconds
  4. Leave to stand for 5 minutes
  5. Mix again for 5 seconds
  6. Drink within 3 hours or store in the fridge and drink throughout the day

Easy to thicken favourite drinks

Every bottle features clear pictorial and written instructions allowing everyone to use it and make a Slõ Drink with the confidence of a clinician.

The instructions include standing time before drinking. Just 5 minutes.

We know powdered thickeners state you can drink in less than that. But thickeners are often not fully hydrated when the mixing process is finished.

A drink doesn’t look the right IDDSI Level and that’s what leads to over thickening.  More thickener is added. A drink then continues to thicken, after it’s started to be drunk and  that makes it drinkable. But you know that!

More hygienic than tins of powder

At home, hygiene is essential when preparing drinks and Slõ Syrup helps here too. There are no containers sitting open on worktops, no scoops to worry about and no cross-contamination with other medication or foods in the same area. There’s no need to touch the product, and there’s a hygienic seal on the pump’s nozzle.

Appealing to look at and drink

Slõ Syrup has the colour and texture of set honey. Once added to a drink it mixes easily and does not dull its colour. It looks as clear and bright as an original drink and taste like them. Slõ Syrup is flavourless.

If you want simplify the way you thicken drinks and create Slõ ones that are enjoyable to drink, you can use the discount code SloDrinker10 to receive 10% off your order here: www.slodrinks.com/shop/slosyrup

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Slõ Syrup Liquid thickener for drinks makes dysphagia care simple

Powder thickeners have – for years – been prescribed as part of the care plan for patients with dysphagia. But it’s universally known they are difficult to use.

It can be almost impossible for patients and carers to achieve the right consistency for safer swallowing. Even for health professionals who work with dysphagia patients day in, day out, traditional tinned thickeners for drinks can be inconvenient, with many resorting to a ‘scoop and hope’ approach and suffering “scoop stress” trying to achieving the desired consistency.

Multiple tastes, one thickening solution

At Slõ Drinks, we have created Slõ Syrup as the easy-to-use alternative for dysphagia care that thickens any water-based drink in just five minutes.

It couldn’t be simpler to make a hot or cold drink to the IDDSI Level prescribed.

Presented in a 1 Ltr. Bottle* with a pump, it’s simply one pre-measured pump for every IDDSI level required. So that would be one pump for IDDSI Level 1, two pumps for IDDSI Level 2, and three for Level 3. Making a drink is simple…

  1. Pour 200ml of cold drink into a cup
  2. Add Slõ Syrup according to the IDDSI Level required
  3. Mix for 30 seconds
  4. Leave to stand for 5 minutes
  5. Mix again for 5 seconds
  6. Drink within 3 hours or store in the fridge and drink throughout the day

*Also available in pouches for days out and as an Assessment bottle for clinicians.

Easy to thicken drinks to each dysphagia patient’s preferences

Slõ Syrup is a quick win for prescribers, carers and patients. Every bottle features clear pictorial and written instructions allowing novice users to use Slõ Syrup to make a drink with the confidence of a clinician.

The instructions include standing time before drinking. Just 5 minutes.

We know, powdered thickeners state you can drink in less than that. But thickeners are often not fully hydrated when the mixing process is finished.

A drink doesn’t look the right IDDSI Level and that’s what leads to over thickening.  More thickener is added. A drink then continues to thicken, after the patient has started drinking, becoming undrinkable.

That doesn’t happen with Slõ Syrup. Left for 5 minutes, it will match the IDDSI Level and stay at that level.

More hygienic than tins of powder

In a healthcare setting, hygiene is crucial, and Slõ Syrup helps here too. There are no containers sitting open on worktops, no scoops to worry about and no cross-contamination with medication or foods being prepared in the same area – just a handy pump-dispensed thickener for drinks that can be easily used by anyone.

There’s no need to touch the product, and there’s a hygienic seal on the pump’s base.

Appealing to look at and drink

Slõ Syrup has the colour and texture of set honey. Once added to a drink it mixes easily and does not dull its colour. It looks as clear and bright as an original drink and taste like them. Slõ Syrup is flavourless.

Slõ Syrup offers an easy-to-use, hygienic and versatile alternative to the old-fashioned powdered drink thickeners; and patients a way to enjoy the taste of their favourite drinks again.

If you therefore want to start prescribing Slõ Syrup you can use the PIP Codes below.

Stocked by Alliance Healthcare they can be delivered to Hospitals and Pharmacies across the UK same day and next day.

IDDSI Cold Hot; Assessment £
1, 2, 3 425-9891 24.99
1, 2, 3 425-4493 24.99
1, 2, 3 428-4519 24.99

* Discounts on all bottles are available for hospitals.

For a sample for you or your patients just click here or call us on 03452 222 205

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Enhancing Patient Safety Through Early Detection and Management of Dysphagia

By Mathew Done, Managing Director, Slõ: Drinks for Dysphagia

In my 15 years focusing on developing drink thickening solutions for dysphagia patients, the intersection of dysphagia management and patient safety has become increasingly apparent. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, presents not only as a significant health challenge but also as a critical patient safety issue.

The condition’s underdiagnosis, particularly in vulnerable populations, heightens the risk of severe complications, including choking, aspiration pneumonia, dehydration, and the profound fear of choking that can lead to malnutrition.

The Prevalence of Dysphagia and Its Safety Implications

Dysphagia’s prevalence is notably higher among specific populations, with studies indicating rates from 2.3% to over 16% in the elderly and up to 99% in children with severe generalised cerebral palsy and learning disability.

These figures underscore the condition’s widespread impact, yet dysphagia often remains underdiagnosed and undertreated, particularly in vulnerable groups. Public Health England and clinical research, including the A New Simple Screening Tool—4QT: Can It Identify Those with Swallowing Problems? A Pilot Study K Tsang et al, highlight the pressing need for better recognition and management of dysphagia to mitigate its health impacts and address the associated health inequalities.

Patient Safety Concerns

The safety risks associated with undiagnosed or poorly managed dysphagia cannot be overstated. Choking and aspiration pneumonia are direct threats to patient safety, with the latter being a leading cause of death in individuals with severe dysphagia. Moreover, the fear of choking can lead to voluntary dehydration and malnutrition, as individuals may avoid eating or drinking to prevent aspiration, further compromising their health and safety.

Addressing Dysphagia: A Patient Safety Priority

Improving the identification and diagnosis of dysphagia is paramount to enhancing patient safety. This involves:

  1. Educational Initiatives: Healthcare professionals must be equipped with the knowledge to recognise early signs of dysphagia and understand the associated safety risks. Education should emphasise the critical nature of early detection and the potential consequences of untreated dysphagia, including the increased risk of choking and dehydration.
  2. Implementing Screening Protocols: Systematic screening for dysphagia, utilising tools like the 4QT, should be standard practice in healthcare settings. Early detection can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications by facilitating timely and appropriate interventions.
  3. Multidisciplinary Approach: The management of dysphagia requires a collaborative effort among speech and language therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals. This team-based approach ensures comprehensive care plans that address both the medical and safety aspects of dysphagia.
  4. Enhancing Awareness Among Caregivers and Patients: Educating caregivers and patients about dysphagia and its implications is crucial. Increased awareness can lead to better compliance with management strategies, reducing the risk of patient harm.

Conclusion

Undiagnosed and unmanaged dysphagia is a significant patient safety concern. As healthcare providers, our role extends beyond treatment to include the prevention of complications associated with this condition. By prioritising the early detection of dysphagia and employing a multidisciplinary management approach, we can significantly improve patient safety outcomes.

If you would like the questions 4QT on a free pocket sized card please contact Slõ Drinks support@slodrinks.com

For additional resources specifically for Clinicians, visit our Clinicians Library. Go to www.slodrinks.com/clinicians-library or scan the QR Code below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151188/

https://www.rcslt.org/speech-and-language-therapy/clinical-information/dysphagia/#:~:text=The%20size%20of%20the%20problem&text=Recent%20research%20has%20found%20the,children%20with%20general%20neurodevelopmental%20disabilities

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7180111/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10306177/

https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/documents/Health_inequalities_dysphagia.pdf

 

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Identifying the signs and symptoms of dysphagia to access care earlier

Dysphagia, a condition characterised by difficulty swallowing, is thought to affect around 4 million people in the UK. It often affects those who are living with another health condition, such as dementia or those who have experienced a stroke or head injury, and it can hugely impact a person’s quality of life.

Being able to spot the first signs and symptoms is crucial in ensuring you can get early support, and to avoid the potential of any complications like dehydration developing.

Understanding dysphagia symptoms
Dysphagia can present in different ways in different people, so it’s important to know some of the ways it might look.

Dysphagia is a secondary symptom of another condition, but that doesn’t mean it will always come after a diagnosis for something else – it might even be that a difficulty swallowing is the first symptom you notice.

Common signs and symptoms of dysphagia can include:

  1. Choking or coughing during meals: If you or someone you are caring for often chokes or coughs while eating or drinking, this could be a sign of dysphagia.
  2. Frequent throat clearing: Repeated attempts to clear the throat, especially after swallowing, is a common symptom of dysphagia.
  3. Weight loss or malnutrition: A difficulty to swallow can mean not enough calories and nutrients are getting consumed. This can lead to unexpected weight loss or malnutrition, and these are common signs of dysphagia.
  4. Gurgly voice after eating or drinking: A noticeable change in voice quality after meals can be a symptom of dysphagia.
  5. Pocketing food in the cheeks: When you feel like you might choke every time you swallow, you can lose confidence and become hesitant about swallowing. If this is you, or if you notice someone you are caring for often sits at mealtimes with food inside their cheeks, this could be a sign of a difficulty swallowing.
  6. Complaints of a lump in the throat: Some people with dysphagia can feel like they have a lump or something stuck in their throat when swallowing. If this is something that continues to happen, it could be a sign of dysphagia and you should speak to a doctor.

Early action is essential
Because dysphagia can lead to severe dehydration and malnutrition, it’s important to get medical support as soon as you think you’ve identified the symptoms.

One of the first things a doctor will do is refer you to a speech and language therapist, who can help to assess and manage dysphagia. The therapist will not only be able to support the clinician to create an individualised care plan, but they will also be able to provide invaluable practical help and support to enhance swallowing function and safety, helping you or the person you’re caring for to regain swallowing confidence.

Enhancing dysphagia care with thickened drinks
One of the things that can make the biggest difference during the early days of a dysphagia diagnosis is knowing that you can access thickened drinks and nutritional supplements that are safe and enjoyable.

It’s so important for us all to stay nourished and hydrated, but nobody wants to spend their time drinking something they don’t like, day in and day out. This is where traditional tinned thickeners and pre-thickened ONS options can fall short, offering limited choice and often lumpy, metallic-tasting drinks.

Slõ enjoyment for those with swallowing difficulties
At Slõ, we have developed a range of handy pre-measured thickening powders that make drinking safe and enjoyable for those living with dysphagia. Whether you fancy a nourishing milkshake or a glass of your favourite fizzy refreshment, Slõ Drinks has a sachet to suit, with a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot and cold thickeners in IDDSI Levels 1-3.

Slõ Milkshake+ is packed with essential nutrients – including protein and 25 essential vitamins and minerals – and provides as many calories as a small meal. There are no lumps, no metallic aftertaste, and no issues around measuring the correct amount of thickener – just great-tasting drinks to enjoy, any time of day.

Here to support your dysphagia care
We know how worrying it can be in the early days following a dysphagia diagnosis and understand the challenges you face.

We’re here to support you as you navigate the condition. From educational resources to practical support through a range of enjoyable thickened drinks.

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Empowering your patients and carers to navigate dysphagia symptoms

Clinicians frequently seeing dysphagia patients, know the huge an impact it can have on quality of life.

Timely identification and intervention is crucial for effective care, and it’s important for clinicians to have access to the best resources, so you can support individuals and care settings to spot the signs and symptoms of dysphagia early.

Being able to implement a dysphagia care pathway quickly ensures not only that the negative impact of dysphagia can be limited, but that you are able to provide the best care, support and reassurance for your patients.

Understanding dysphagia symptoms
As dysphagia is a secondary symptom, individuals and carers can be so focused on the primary condition they miss it. Unaware of the early signs and symptoms of dysphagia.

It can be helpful to have resources and information available that you can share with families and care settings. Common dysphagia symptoms that it’s useful for care settings to be aware of include:

  1. Choking or coughing during meals: If a patient or their carer notices persistent choking or coughing while the patient is eating or drinking, this could be a sign of dysphagia.
  2. Frequent throat clearing: Repeated attempts to clear the throat, especially after swallowing, can signal the onset of dysphagia.
  3. Weight loss or malnutrition: Unexpected weight loss or malnutrition can result from the difficulty to swallow, which can mean a patient isn’t getting enough calories and nutrients.
  4. Gurgly voice after eating or drinking: A noticeable change in voice quality after meals can be a symptom of dysphagia, indicating potential aspiration.
  5. Pocketing food in the cheeks: A hesitation or inability to swallow food can lead to individuals holding it inside their cheeks instead.
  6. Complaints of a lump in the throat: Patients may report feeling a lump or obstruction in their throat when swallowing.

Early action is essential
You know dysphagia can lead to severe dehydration and malnutrition and that early intervention is essential. That’s why educating individuals and carers around the early signs and symptoms of dysphagia is so important – the sooner they can get in touch with a medical professional, the better.

Of course, as a clinician, you know that the pathway for dysphagia patients includes early referral to speech and language therapy services but, again, few individuals and carers are aware of the pivotal role SLTs play in assessing and managing dysphagia.

It will often be useful to communicate with patients around how SLTs can provide valuable expertise and lots of practical support and guidance. Helping them enhance swallowing function and safety and ultimately helping them regain their swallowing confidence.

Enhancing dysphagia care with thickened drinks
A key part of implementing an effective care plan is prescribing drink thickeners and oral nutritional supplements that your patients will be happy to use.

Patient enjoyment is central to the efficacy of any thickened drink. If they don’t like the taste or the texture, they are less likely to use it, and over time they may become dehydrated and malnourished. Traditional tinned powdered thickeners can often fall short in terms of patient enjoyment, however, and pre-thickened ONS’s offer limited choice.

Slõ enjoyment for those with swallowing difficulties
At Slõ, we have developed a range of easy ways to make safe and enjoyable thickened drinks that flow slow.

That starts by removing the most difficult part – measuring the correct amount of thickener. We provide pre-measured doses of thickener leaving the person making the drink to mix it into the volume of liquid we advise.

Slõ Milkshakes+ ONS are presented in handy pre-measured sachets that your patients or their carers can mix with whole milk to the appropriate IDDSI Level (1-3). Available in strawberry, chocolate and banana flavours, and packed with essential nutrients – including protein and 25 essential vitamins and minerals – providing as many calories as a small meal.

Slõ Syrup our latest way to thicken in drinks, it a liquid thickener concentrate. Designed to overcome all the issues with scooping thickener from tins, you just add 1, 2 or 3 pumps to 200mls and stir!

We can also help your patients make Slõ Wine, Beer and Fizzy drinks.

All are lump free and smooth, look and taste as good as ordinary drinks – they are just safer to swallow.

Your partner in dysphagia care
We know the challenges you face in ensuring dysphagia patients are able to access support and resources early, as well as ensuring they can have the best solutions for their needs quickly.

We’re here to support your clinical practice and ensure your patients not only have all the information they need to identify and manage their condition at home, but that there is always a great-tasting thickened drink option that helps them regain their swallowing confidence.

For more information, or to begin offering your patients a Slõ flowing solution, you can order samples of Slõ Milkshake+ and find a data sheet with a full nutritional breakdown here: http://www.slodrinks.com/clinicians-library/

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Thickened festive alcoholic and fizzy drinks

The festive season is upon us, bringing with it celebrations aplenty and the joy of family gatherings.

For many, it’s a season that’s synonymous with the clinking of glasses; of raising a toast with loved ones and friends, whether that’s a Prosecco, a glass of wine, a seasonal beer or even a special non-alcoholic soda.

As a clinician, you know how important these simple pleasures can be for your patients’ emotional wellbeing – but you also know they can so often feel out of reach for those living with dysphagia and other swallowing difficulties. With so few options available for thickened drinks, celebrations can be a cause of worry for those patients, leading to feelings of exclusion and even social isolation.

Everyone can enjoy their favourite festive tipple safely
At Slõ Drinks, we believe everyone should be able to enjoy their favourite festive drink, whatever their unique medical needs. That’s why we’ve developed a range of innovative, pre-measured sachets of thickening products designed specifically to enhance your dysphagia care planning for the festive season and beyond, and bring enjoyment to those living with dysphagia.

Patients simply choose their favourite drink, add a pre-measured sachet of thickener, and they can safely and confidently join the festivities with a glass of the following:
• Slõ Beer
• Slõ Cider
• Slõ Wine
• Slõ Bubbly

Bringing inclusivity to the party
Slõ Drinks offer a simple, effective and great-tasting solution for dysphagia care planning. You can confidently prescribe our pre-measured thickening sachets to meet the unique needs and tastes of every patient, ensuring a truly personalised care plan, whatever the season.

Our thickeners make it easy for patients to control the consistency of all their favourite hot and cold drinks, with each product available in IDDSI Levels 1-3 to ensure a safe and enjoyable drinking experience, every time.
The process is easy, too – patients simply open a sachet, mix it with their favourite tipple, and they can confidently toast the season with a drink that flows slõ, tailored to their exact needs.

Sharing a drink with loved ones is a priceless gift that extends far beyond the festive season. Give the gift of cheer and enhance your dysphagia patient care with Slõ Drinks.

For more information or to order samples: http://www.slodrinks.com/clinicians-library/

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Festive fizz for those with dysphagia

The festive season is upon us, bringing with it joyful celebrations and the warmth of family gatherings.

For many, it’s a season that’s synonymous with the clinking of glasses; of raising a toast with loved ones, and getting together with friends to enjoy a glass of Prosecco or wine, a seasonal beer or even a special non-alcoholic soda. They are moments to cherish.

When you’re navigating dysphagia or caring for someone with swallowing difficulties, these festive joys often seem out of reach. The limited options for thickened drinks can mean celebrations become a source of concern and worry rather than something to look forward to. You don’t want to have to carry a heavy tin of thickener with you to events or gatherings, and a pre-thickened ONS isn’t always the most appropriate party drink.

Don’t let dysphagia dim the festive sparkle
Here at Slõ Drinks, we don’t believe anybody should be excluded from raising a toast over the holidays. We want everyone to be able to enjoy their favourite festive drink, whatever their unique medical needs.

We’ve therefore developed a range of innovative, pre-measured sachets of thickening products designed specifically to preserve the festive sparkle for those with dysphagia and other swallowing difficulties.

Simply choose a favourite tipple, add a sachet of your required thickness, mix, and join in the celebrations with confidence.

Our range means you can choose from:
• Slõ Beer
• Slõ Cider
• Slõ Wine
• Slõ Bubbly

Or maybe you don’t need to choose – why not try them all? It’s Christmas, after all!

Bringing inclusivity to the party
Slõ Drinks are a simple, effective and great-tasting solution for the festive season. Because they come in handy pre-measured sachets, you can slip a few in your pocket or handbag and head to your party knowing you’ll be able to enjoy a drink with everyone else – no massive tins of thickener, and no powdery milkshakes.

The process is easy and discreet, too – simply open a sachet, mix it with your favourite tipple, and you can confidently toast the season with a drink that flows as slõ as you need it to.
And we even have the after-hours covered, with our hot drink thickener ensuring you can enjoy a post-dinner cup of tea or coffee alongside your friends.

Share a Slõ drink with loved ones this festive season, and raise a glass to joining in.

To start getting ready to celebrate you can buy the sachets you need here: www.slodrinks.com/shop

Merry Christmas

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Struggling to obtain your usual pre-thickened ONS?

Clinicians and healthcare practitioners across the UK are currently reporting a shortage of their usual pre-thickened oral nutritional supplements.

If you’re experiencing the same frustration, you can prescribe our Slõ Milkshake+ as an alternative.

A pre-thickened powdered ONS provides an easy-to-use, great-tasting solution that flows slõ to deliver the nutritional boost you’re looking for, safely.

Slõ Milkshake+ are presented in handy pre-measured sachets that you mix with fresh whole milk to provide as many calories as a small meal. No lumps, no metallic aftertaste, and no issues around measuring the right amount of thickener.

Available in strawberry, banana and chocolate flavours at IDDSI Level 1, 2 and 3 they provide a safe solution that caters to the tastes and needs of all your dysphagia patients.

Nutrition that flows slo for safer swallowing

Each Milkshake+ is packed with essential nutrients. The + stands for + protein, + calories and + 25 essential vitamins and minerals. And because each pre-measured sachet is mixed with fresh milk straight from the fridge, you can be sure your patients are getting all the nutrition and hydration they need safely, throughout the day.

More protein per ml than any other pre-thickened ONS available!

At Slõ Drinks, we designed our Slõ Milkshakes+ range to be a reliable, quick and great-tasting alternative to traditional pre-thickened ONS.

We’re sure they will be not just a positive alternative other pre-thickened ONS are in short supply, but will become a first choice for many of your patients.

And the good news for you as a clinician is that Slõ Milkshakes+ can be effortlessly prescribed and ordered. Stocked by Alliance Healthcare warehouses across the country; they can be ordered by Hospitals and via prescription using the PIP codes below.

IDDSI Level Strawberry Chocolate Banana
1 4160271 4160289 4176152
2 4007639 4007662 4176145
3 4007647 4007654

 

Your partner in dysphagia care

We understand the challenges you face in maintaining the highest standards of care for dysphagia patients and we’re committed to being part of the solution.

Slõ Drinks is here to support your clinical practice and ensure your patients always have access to the nutrition they need.

For more information, or to begin offering your patients reliable, great-tasting nutrition that flows slõ, you can order samples of Slõ Milkshake+ and find a Data sheet with a full nutritional breakdown here: www.slodrinks.com/clinicians-library

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Enjoyable thickened drinks for dysphagia

Meal and snack times can be difficult for those living with dysphagia and needing thickened drinks.

We all know how important it is to make sure we’re getting the vitamins and nutrients we need to stay healthy, but eating with dysphagia can feel like a chore rather than something to enjoy. It can be worrying, and take a long time to prepare and eat even a small snack.

To overcome this, here at Slõ, we developed Slõ Milkshakes+ to give those living with dysphagia a quick way to provide great-tasting nutritional boost, whenever needed.

The + stands for + protein, + calories, + 25 essential vitamins and minerals. There is enough to make it comparable to the nutrition of a small meal!

Simply select a favourite Slõ Milkshake+ flavour – choose from real strawberry, banana or chocolate – mix with fresh whole milk straight from the fridge, and enjoy a delicious, high-calorie milkshake.

This ease of mixing is important.

It takes a lot of effort to make a thickened drink with “Clear” thickeners that come in tubs. Consequently, you won’t see any lumps in a Slõ Milkshake+. It will never go to thick and there will be no funny after-taste. They will taste good; feel smooth, rich and creamy to drink.

Don’t worry about drinking it all in one go – it’ll keep in the fridge all day, so sips can be taken as little or as often as needed – or worry about finding cupboard space for a month’s worth of pre-made thickened drinks or a huge tin of thickening agent – our sachets are easy to store and contain the right amount of thickener for one nutritious milkshake.

Slõ Milkshake+ comes in IDDSI Levels 1, 2 and 3 to suit your needs, and can be delivered straight to your door. To order just go to Slo Milkshake+ Strawberry – 14/28 Sachets – Slõ Drinks (slodrinks.com) You can also order other flavours from there.

 

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Thickened ONS that deliver nutrition and taste good

Meals and snacks can be a source of anxiety or distress for patients with dysphagia. Not only can eating cause them concerns around possible aspiration and choking, it can often take hours out of the patient’s and their carer’s day, drastically reducing the amount of time they spend on activities that improve their quality of life.

For some patients, this will mean they choose to forego important meals entirely.

As you know, it’s crucial for patients with dysphagia to maintain a good intake of vital vitamins, minerals, calories and other nutrients. Thickening agents and thickened ONS products form an important part of your patient care plans, helping you ensure those under your care are hydrated and are receiving all the essential nutrition they need.

For patients, however, large tins of traditional thickening agent can often be an additional cause of stress. Because dysphagia often affects those with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, measuring the right dose for each drink can be difficult. It can be messy, upsetting and cause distress.

It’s little wonder so many patients aren’t particularly happy to see thickened ONS drinks and thickening agents on their prescriptions.

That’s where we come in.

We’ve designed our Slõ Milkshakes+ to challenge the limitations that come with using “Clear” thickeners and give you a handy, tasty alternative for your dysphagia patient care planning.

Our thickened milkshake powder comes in helpful sachets of pre-measured doses, delivering delicious nutrition that flo’s slõ to aid safe swallowing while ensuring essentials vitamins, proteins and calories are being consumed.

Slõ Milkshakes+ ONS are made with real strawberries, bananas and cocoa for a premium taste, and are simply mixed with fresh whole milk from the fridge.

This ease of mixing is important. Unlike making a thickened drink with “Clear” thickeners, your patients won’t see any lumps floating on a Slõ Milkshake+. There will be no funny after-taste. They will taste good; feel smooth, rich and creamy to drink whilst giving your patient the nutritional boost they need.

The + stands for +protein, + calories, + 25 vitamins and minerals.

Available in three popular flavours and IDDSI Levels 1-3, Slõ Milkshakes+ can save the NHS practices £14+ per monthly prescription over pre-thickened ready to drink alternatives, while helping you enhance your patient care in an easy-to-use powder.

To find out more about Slõ Milkshakes+ ONS and start recommending them to your patients please email us at support@slodrinks.com.

Alternatively, you can find lots of information in our Clinicians Library and order samples to go direct to your patient by scanning the QR Code below using your phone or going to www.slodrinks.com and at the top of the page click the Clinicians Library button and click on the Sample button or any of the others to find our more.

 

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The first refreshing fizzy thickened drinks

For many patients who live with dysphagia, the summer months can be a dispiriting time.

As you know – it’s important they stay hydrated as the temperature rises, and recommending suitable thickening agents and pre-thickened drinks is a crucial element of the patient’s care plan.

Yet one of the most frustrating aspects of dysphagia, for patients and clinicians, is the limitations it imposes on a patient’s choice of drink. Traditional thickening powders and pre-prepared drinks like milkshakes may help keep patients nourished and hydrated, but they often fall short in terms of providing genuine refreshment.

But on a hot summer’s day, it’s not always simply about staying hydrated – it’s about feeling refreshed.

Our Slõ Soda sachet has been designed to give freedom of choice to patients and clinicians, helping to improve the quality of life for those living with dysphagia and providing genuine refreshment.

A measured sachet of unique thickening agent, Slõ Soda can be added to 200ml of any cold carbonated drink to make it flo slo. It will be safer to swallow and it preserves the bubbles so patients can enjoy their favourite fizzy drink while staying hydrated – safely.

Recent research suggests carbonation itself may positively affect swallowing, promoting the onset of the swallowing reflex earlier than non-carbonated beverages. By thickening fizzy drinks and preserving the carbonation, Slõ Soda helps stimulate saliva production, facilitating the formation of a bolus and the initiation of swallowing, thereby reducing the risk of aspiration.

Slõ Soda’s innovative sachet formulation ensures easy and accurate dosage at home, with IDDSI Levels 1, 2 and 3 available according to each patient’s needs. Clinicians can confidently recommend a drink that safer to swallow and enjoyable to drink during these hot summer months.

To find out more about Slõ Soda and start recommending it to your patients or ask for a sample, email us at support@slodrinks.com ; scan the QR Code below with your phone and ask for a sample by clicking the Sample button or call us on 03452 222 205.

Further reading:
Saiki, A., Yoshimi, K., Nakagawa, K. et al, Effects of thickened carbonated cola in older patients with dysphagia, Sci Rep 12, 22151 (2022).

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The first refreshing fizzy thickened drinks

On a hot summer’s day, when the sun’s beating down from a cloudless sky, there are few things better than finding a spot in the shade to enjoy an ice-cold glass of your favourite fizzy drink.

We’ve all been there. And we all know it’s not just about staying hydrated – it’s about that instant and joyful relief of feeling genuinely refreshed.

But when you’re living with dysphagia, or watching someone you care for struggling with it, these simple pleasures can seem out of reach. There’s a limited range of thickened drinks being available and none you feeling blissfully and joyfully refreshed.

Here at Slõ Drinks, we don’t believe dysphagia should be a barrier to enjoying the simple pleasures drinking – especially fizzy drinks.

We’ve designed our Slõ Soda thickener as an easy-to-use solution to keep you feeling refreshed, whenever you fancy it.

Simply add a sachet to 200ml to a favourite carbonated drink, and it’ll thicken it up and flo slo, making swallowing easy, while preserving those all-important bubbles for a sparkling summertime sip.

Recent research suggests fizzy drinks that have been thickened can actually be easier for dysphagia patients to swallow than thickened non-fizzy ones. The carbonation encourages the swallowing reflex to kick in earlier, making it easier to drink and reducing the risk of choking. That means Slõ Soda makes it easier to stay hydrated, refreshed, and comfortable while drinking.

Slõ Soda comes in IDDSI Levels 1, 2 and 3 to suit your needs. It’s easy to make, and can be delivered straight to your door.

The only thing you need to worry about is which drink you’re going to try first.

To learn more about Slõ Soda and start enjoying your favourite fizzy drinks again, call us on 03452 222 205 or if you would like to try a sample – email us at support@slodrinks.com. We’re here to help you stay refreshed, not just hydrated, this summer.

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When nutrition is a challenge for older persons

For older persons, seniors or the elderly, it can be difficult to eat enough and maintain the nutritional intake required.

This may be because they’re not as active and slowing down. This automatically reduces appetite and only smaller meals are required. Even these may left unfinished as chewing and swallowing is difficult due to conditions affecting the mouth, badly fitting false teeth and/or dysphagia. All make making eating tiring and slow.

To overcome these issues and make nutritional intake enjoyable, we created Slõ Milkshakes+.

No ordinary milkshakes, they provide more nutrition than most meals in a drink. The + stands for: + protein (23g min), + calories (399 max), + essential vitamins and minerals (25); + Acacia Fibre and +Carb 10.

They taste good too. Slõ Milkshakes+ are made with only real ingredients. The Strawberry and Banana contain real strawberries and bananas converted to powders; the chocolate high quality cocoa.

To enhance their taste further, you mix them with cold whole/full cream milk from the fridge. This gives them a fresh taste and makes them feel smooth, rich and creamy to drink.

Slõ Milkshakes+ are from our range of Slõ Drinks created for people that have small appetites and need to drink slo due to having a swallowing difficulty – dysphagia. Developed with the help of dietitians and healthcare professionals, our milkshakes provide an ideal way to supplement and boost nutritional intake of those that struggle to eat a full meal.

You can learn more by clicking here: https://www.slodrinks.com/product/slo-milkshake-strawberry/. Strawberry is a very popular flavour, but you can also purchase Banana and Chocolate from that page or call us on 03452 222 205 to place your order.

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Should dysphagia patients have crushed medications?

Last week on LinkedIn we read about a podcast created by Theresa Richard, an American Speech Pathologist and specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. It discusses medication and the issues for Speech Pathologists (Therapists).

Whilst it has been created for health care professionals, it will give you an insight into how they are trying to improve life for those with dysphagia that can’t swallow their pills. In summary…

It’s well-known Speech Therapists receive a continual flow of referrals when a patient can’t swallow their pills. Typically, the “work around” is to crush or split pills and capsules. However, there are several issues with this.

To name a few… crushing or splitting will affect the bioavailability (effectiveness) of the medication. Time release medication can’t be crushed. It changes the medication into an un-licensed product. If added to food, the food can affect the dissolution of medication, especially yoghurts, jams and ice creams due to their sugar content. Placing medication in foods then creates lots of legal issues.

Theresa doesn’t suggest Speech Therapists turn into the “Medication Police”, it’s more about combining the specialist knowledge of all members of the care team e.g. helping pharmacists understand the impact a patient’s dysphagia diagnosis has on their ability to swallow certain pills; pharmacists helping clinicians to understand the implications crushing and adding medication to food has on its effectiveness.

As a result, alternatives can be found that will ultimately help the patient. It may be switching slow-release medication for a quicker one taken more frequently, use our Pill-Eze: www.pill-eze.com or, as a last resort, switch to a liquid version.

Please do try and listen to the podcast, it really is worth a listen and you listen to it by clicking on this link: https://podcast.theresarichard.com/

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Should dysphagia patients have crushed medications?

Last week on LinkedIn we read about a podcast created by Theresa Richards, an American Speech Pathologist and specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. It discusses medication and the issues for Speech Pathologists (Therapists).

It’s well-known Speech Therapists receive a continual flow of referrals when a patient can’t swallow their pills. Typically, the “work around” is to crush or split pills and capsules. However, there are several issues with this.

To name a few… crushing or splitting will affect the bioavailability (effectiveness) of the medication. Time release medication can’t be crushed. It changes the medication into an un-licensed product. If added to food, the food can affect the dissolution of medication, especially yoghurts, jams and ice creams due to their sugar content. Placing medication in foods then creates lots of legal issues.

Theresa doesn’t suggest Speech Therapists turn into the “Medication Police” or learn about the pharmaceutical properties of medication and spend hours studying the NEWT Guidelines (www.newtguidelines.com).

It’s more about combining the specialist knowledge of all members of the care team e.g. helping pharmacists understand the impact a patient’s dysphagia diagnosis has on their ability to swallow certain pills; pharmacists helping clinicians to understand the implications crushing and adding medication to food has on its effectiveness.

As a result, alternatives can be found that will ultimately help the patient. It may be switching slow-release medication for a quicker one taken more frequently, use our Pill-Eze: www.pill-eze.com or, as a last resort, switch to a liquid version.

Of course, before all this happens it would be useful to establish what swallowing issue a patient has. A team unaffiliated to Theresa created the Pill 5 questionnaire. A series of 5 questions which will determine the level of difficulty a patient has swallowing pills. You can download a copy here: Slõ Pill 5.

Please do try and listen to the podcast, it really is worth a listen and contains lots of valuable information. If you use LinkedIn, just search for “Should dysphagia patients have crushed medications” or Theresa.

If you don’t use it, you can go straight to Theresa’s podcast by clicking the link below. You will also find lots of other interesting podcasts and useful tools on her site:
https://podcast.theresarichard.com/

* NEWT Guidelines. A guide created here in the UK to administration of medication to patients with swallowing problems. Such administration is usually outside the product license.

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New practical training on pureed – dysphagia – diets by dietitians

We recently read about a course that focused on creating pureed diets produced by Dietitian, Rachael Masters. Passionate about nutrition and a keen interest in dysphagia, Rachael wanted to provide a course that provides useful information and practical advice for caterers and people living at home 

We therefore wanted to share what she has done and this is what Rachael has to say about it…

Preparing pureed or altered consistency diets can seem overwhelming, making sure it is a safe consistency to eat, appealing and packed with nutrition. Focus on Undernutrition have launched new practical online training to support cooks and carers to develop pureed and altered consistency diets, previously delivered face to face to over 700 cooks. Endorsed by the British Dietetic Association and developed by a Consultant Dietitian, supported by a Speech Therapist and expert dysphagia chefs. 

This accessible training includes masterclasses, practical catering demonstrations for over 20 pureed recipes, before and after confidence and knowledge surveys and course evaluation. The training incorporates downloadable resources, including activity sheets, all the training materials, recipe books with over 30 level 4 pureed recipes. 

The training includes:

  • What is dysphagia
  • What is IDDSI
  • Which foods are suitable for different IDDSI levels
  • Adapting meals to be suitable for each IDDSI level
  • Developing nutritionally balanced menu  
  • Practical videos on over 20 level 4 pureed recipes, including main course, desserts, snacks such as biscuits, scones, sandwiches, afternoon tea.

To find out more details on Focus on Undernutrition Online training watch https://youtu.be/Hzf8z_pu54w. To purchase the training, email info@focusonundernutrition.co.uk for a registration form to complete.

For further information visit www.focusonundernutrition.co.uk or email info@focusonundernutrition.co.uk

In the meantime, please remember, these meals can be supplemented by our Slõ Milkshakes+ oral nutritional supplement.

A powdered pre-thickened supplement they will boost nutritional intake with a minimum of 23g of protein, 330+ calories and a mix of 25 essential vitamins and minerals.

They also taste good too. Not too sweet and no metallic aftertaste, they also taste fresh made with cold whole milk from the fridge. If you want to use them, they can be bought from our website www.slodrinks.com/shop

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New practical training on pureed – dysphagia – diets by dietitians

We recently read about a course that focused on creating pureed diets produced by Dietitian, Rachael Masters. Passionate about nutrition and a keen interest in dysphagia, Rachael wanted to provide a course that provides useful information and practical advice for caterers and people living at home.

We therefore wanted to share what she has done and this is what Rachael has to say about it…

“Preparing pureed or altered consistency diets can seem overwhelming, making sure it is a safe consistency to eat, appealing and packed with nutrition. Focus on Undernutrition have launched new practical online training to support cooks and carers to develop pureed and altered consistency diets, previously delivered face to face to over 700 cooks. Endorsed by the British Dietetic Association and developed by a Consultant Dietitian, supported by a Speech Therapist and expert dysphagia chefs.

Delivered as two modules, this accessible training includes masterclasses, practical catering demonstrations for over 20 pureed recipes; before and after confidence and knowledge surveys and course evaluation. The training incorporates downloadable resources, including activity sheets, all the training materials, recipe books with over 30 level 4 pureed recipes, coursework and certificate. Both practical and written coursework is required for this course which is uploaded onto the training platform and marked by a dietitian. If completed by a family carer, the coursework can be excluded on request.

The training includes:

  • What is dysphagia
  • What is IDDSI
  • Which foods are suitable for different IDDSI levels
  • Adapting meals to be suitable for each IDDSI level
  • Developing nutritionally balanced menu cycles for level 4 and level 6 diets
  • Completing IDDSI testing
  • Thickening fluids and completing IDDSI flow tests
  • Catering equipment for altered consistency diets (ACD)
  • Practical guidance and demonstrations on preparing ACD and IDDSI testing
  • Practical videos on over 20 level 4 pureed recipes, including main course, desserts, snacks such as biscuits, scones, sandwiches, afternoon tea.
  • Coursework in adapting a menu cycle for level 4 and level 6 diets.

The training is part of the Focus on Undernutrition Catering Course, a six-module course covering menu planning, diabetes, fortified (high calorie/protein) diets, dysphagia, dementia and constipation. The dysphagia modules can be completed as standalone for £100, or part of the whole course for £250.”

To find out more details on Focus on Undernutrition Online training watch https://youtu.be/Hzf8z_pu54w. To purchase the training, email info@focusonundernutrition.co.uk for a registration form to complete.

For further information visit www.focusonundernutrition.co.uk or email info@focusonundernutrition.co.uk

In the meantime, please remember, these meals can be supplemented by our Slõ Milkshakes+ ONS.

A powdered pre-thickened ONS, they will boost nutritional intake with a minimum of 23g of protein, 330+ calories and a mix of 25 essential vitamins and minerals.

They also taste good too. Not too sweet and no metallic aftertaste, they also taste fresh made with cold whole milk from the fridge.

Here in the UK, they are available to prescribe and pip codes are available from the Clinicians Library: www.slodrinks.com/clinicians-library

They can also be bought on our website www.slodrinks.com/shop

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Finding Dysphagia in Four: A simple swallow screen

The signs and symptoms of dysphagia are familiar to Speech and Language Therapists/ Pathologists and Dietitians that see dysphagia patients daily.

However, as you know, outside this sphere there are a huge number of health care professionals that are not. They may be unaware of how dysphagia can impact a patient’s recovery care plan. As a result, a patient may not be receiving the most suitable care.

As you know, dysphagia affects the elderly and with an increasingly elderly population, the incidence of dysphagia will only increase. It would therefore be a good idea to create a simple way to find dysphagia, for those on Acute wards and working in Surgeries and Health centres.

This is something highlighted in a paper we recently read: A New Simple Screening Tool—4QT: Can It Identify Those with Swallowing Problems?

You can read the full paper here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151188/ but to summarize…

“Screening for dysphagia is considered good practice on a stroke ward and for stroke care. However, despite it occurring at the same frequency in frail older adults on an Acute ward, it isn’t screened for.

When you consider that, in addition to strokes, there are 126 conditions that can present with dysphagia as a secondary symptom in older, frail patients, many may have a swallowing difficulty undiagnosed.

There is, therefore, a need to empower frontline medical and nursing staff to screen prior to referral rather than assess peoples’ ability to swallow when they are on the ward.

Consequently, the Paper’s authors reviewed the available literature on screening, other assessment techniques (EAT-10) and conducted a study to develop a shorter swallow screen, the 4 Question Test. (4QT).

This Swallow Screen is highly sensitive but not a specific swallow screen.

It does not replace a Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists Assessment and does not aim to identify the nature or etiology of any dysphagia present.

Instead, it provides an effortless way for medical and nursing staff, without prior training, to identify people who may have difficulty swallowing and then, if necessary, refer them for a full swallow assessment.

There is the added advantage that, in clinically busy settings and out of hours, there is no need to look for a teaspoon or to establish the time taken to swallow a fixed volume of water.

This Swallow Screen is simple and effective. It does not pretend to be conclusive in identifying the presence of dysphagia. It empowers healthcare professionals to look for it before referring to a Speech Therapy Department.”

We think this is so important and could have a such a huge positive impact on helping dysphagia patients we have sponsored the printing of the cards you see above.

If you think it is important too and want to try them with your colleagues on the ward or in the Community, we will send you some. Just email support@slodrinks.com and let us know how many you need.

All we ask is that you let us know how useful you found them. We will then forward your comments to the authors.

In the meantime, to read the paper in full just click this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151188/

Posted on

Finding Dysphagia in Four: A simple swallow screen

The signs and symptoms of dysphagia are familiar to Speech and Language Therapists/ Pathologists and Dietitians that see dysphagia patients daily.

However, as you know, outside this sphere there are a huge number of health care professionals that are not. They may be unaware of how dysphagia can impact a patient’s recovery care plan. As a result, a patient may not be receiving the most suitable care.

As you know, dysphagia affects the elderly and with an increasingly elderly population, the incidence of dysphagia will only increase. It would therefore be a good idea to create a simple way to find dysphagia, for those on Acute wards and working in Surgeries and Health centres.

This is something highlighted in a paper we recently read: A New Simple Screening Tool—4QT: Can It Identify Those with Swallowing Problems?

You can read the full paper here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151188/ but to summarize…

“Screening for dysphagia is considered good practice on a stroke ward and for stroke care. However, despite it occurring at the same frequency in frail older adults on an Acute ward, it isn’t screened for.

When you consider that, in addition to strokes, there are 126 conditions that can present with dysphagia as a secondary symptom in older, frail patients, many may have a swallowing difficulty undiagnosed.

There is, therefore, a need to empower frontline medical and nursing staff to screen prior to referral rather than assess peoples’ ability to swallow when they are on the ward.

Consequently, the Paper’s authors reviewed the available literature on screening, other assessment techniques (EAT-10) and conducted a study to develop a shorter swallow screen, the 4 Question Test. (4QT).

This Swallow Screen is highly sensitive but not a specific swallow screen.

It does not replace a Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists Assessment and does not aim to identify the nature or etiology of any dysphagia present.

Instead, it provides an effortless way for medical and nursing staff, without prior training, to identify people who may have difficulty swallowing and then, if necessary, refer them for a full swallow assessment.

There is the added advantage that, in clinically busy settings and out of hours, there is no need to look for a teaspoon or to establish the time taken to swallow a fixed volume of water.

This Swallow Screen is simple and effective. It does not pretend to be conclusive in identifying the presence of dysphagia. It empowers healthcare professionals to look for it before referring to a Speech Therapy Department.”

We think this is so important and could have a such a huge positive impact on helping dysphagia patients we have sponsored the printing of the cards you see above.

If you think it is important too and want to try them with your colleagues on the ward or in the Community, we will send you some. Just email support@slodrinks.com and let us know how many you need.

All we ask is that you let us know how useful you found them. We will then forward your comments to the authors.

In the meantime, to read the paper in full just click this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151188/