The fourth all-partner transnational meeting was hosted by ALPHA Association on January 22nd and 23rd, 2015. The meeting included a half-day workshop in which participants learned about swallowing problems that frail elderly people encounter. The workshop was divided into three parts. The first was theoretical. It covered elements of anatomy, physiology and pathology in order to understand how swallowing occurs normally and how it may be affected by different types of disorders. In the second part, participants were shown and practiced in a hands-on session, how to choose and adapt food according to the severity of swallowing disorders. The workshop proceeded with a teaching session on how to test and monitor dysphagia. The third part of the workshop involved answering questions from a list partners had sent previously. A discussion followed about the many competencies needed and skills practiced during the workshop. Talk included applying the learned skills in daily caring activities for various professions.
In the afternoon, another training session was dedicated to ethical principles applied to feeding people who experience dysphagia or who require palliative care. A presentation that was made raised several questions with which professionals are confronted in their daily activities in nursing homes but also in hospitals and during home care. A discussion among participants helped clarify several aspects of this complex topic. The session aimed at emphasizing the complexity and the necessity to consider each case separately, taking into account the needs of the patient as well as those of family members and of the involved professional carers.