Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, is a condition with a strong age-related bias. Rates of dysphagia vary due to differences in method between studies; eg, clinical history of "swallowing difficulty," evidence of aspiration, or dysphagia confirmed by swallowing investigations. In general, the rate is lower in the community than in nursing home facilities. The management and treatment of dysphagia among geriatric patients is complicated by cognitive decline, lowered immunity, malnutrition, and end-of-life decisions. This article reviews the current assessment, treatment, and management techniques for dysphagia; covers new developments in research and pilot studies; and reviews the ethical issues related to treatment when prognosis is poor.
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