September 2016 DiagnosTEX Newsletter


September 2016 Clinical Café Newsletter

By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP


With Great Respect,

We pay tribute to the creation of our nation’s strength, freedom and leadership….

The American Workers!!! Happy Labor Day!

Back to school time for our kids!

And …….We are closer to Fall!


Upcoming HolidayDiagnosTEX will be closed on Labor Day, Monday September 5, 2014.

Please consider this when scheduling your studies. We will operate Tuesday – Friday that week.

What are we celebrating? A day off?? Yes!! But also, 148 million people 16 years and older in the nation’s labor force in June 2015. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Parkinson’s Voice Project – SING OUT! A Voice Revolution – Saturday September 10, 2016 in Richardson, TX. It is the Parkinson’s Voice Project 11th Anniversary. Sing out with the Loud Crowd as they sing the hits of Broadway. Krys Boyd will be the Master of Ceremonies.. For reservations – 469-375-6500 or visit


Dates to remember in September:

National Grandparent’s Day –

National Women’s Health and Fitness Day –

National Assisted Living Week –

National Rehabilitation Awareness Week –

Healthy Aging Month –

Alzheimer’s Memory Walk (September-November) – I will be walking again this October in Grapevine! If anyone would like to donate to my walk, I would appreciate your support to help to end this terrible disease, as we all are up close and personal with this professionally and some of us personally. Please go to the website and donate to my team “Heels of Hope”.  Thank you!


CEU Opportunities in September

Ampcare – Nacogdoches, Texas on September 2, 2016. Go to for more information.

Be looking for DiagnosTEX Fall conference information soon!

Dysphagia Tidbit – Enhanced Dining – By Jolene Brackey – If your Alzheimer’s patients are not eating well, consider the following:

Before Meals

*Keep people involved in socialization, snacking or exercising while they wait for meals.

* Invite ’em to help! “Would you help me set the tables?” And if they only stack the placemats, and put glasses in a row and then start folding napkins, reply, “Thank you for all of your help. It looks great! Why not relax in the living room? Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes.”  Even though they may not set the table correctly, let them know how much you appreciate their help.

*Tearing lettuce, snapping beans, buttering bread, shucking corn, pealing potatoes, pouring beverages.   Get their tastes buds going by working with food before meals.

*Help people into dining chairs. Wheelchairs are for transfer.

* “Bob, let’s get washed up for dinner.” Let the men escort you to dinner. Avoid pulling on their arms.

* “The church ladies have made us roast beef and mashed potatoes.” Triggers three responses, 1) the food is good 2) the food is free 3) and it would be rude to leave after these ladies have worked so hard.

*Carry a plate of food around and talk in detail about how yummy it is and that it is “Dinnertime!”

*Instead of saying it’s time for a snack, say, “Let’s have some coffee.”

*Ask a person to bless the meal. Another option is to pray together “Be Present at Our Table Lord” or “Come Lord Jesus”.

*Offer soothing music before meals.  Music during meals becomes extra noise.

During Meals

*Introduce them to one another, start conversations, and even sit down and eat with them. Pretend you’re inviting the person into your home and introducing them to your family.

*Remove unnecessary utensils, condiments, foods, beverages. They may become confused if there are too many choices in front of them.

*When eating becomes difficult, offer one food item at a time in separate bowls.

*Promote a quiet environment, removing extra sources of noise and even keeping staff conversations to a minimum. Dispense medications before or after meals. This will reduce noise and extra stimulation during meals.

*Be flexible, giving them ample time to eat their entire meal.

So, why aren’t they eating?

*Plate is too big with too much food (ladies especially). Use saucer-size plate and teaspoon-size portions.

*Unable to see food directly in front of them. To find out where they can see offer their favorite food in colored bowl and move it around until they reach for it.

*Cannot see white on white. If plate is white and potatoes are white they may not be able to see potatoes on plate.   Blue or rose colored plates work well in showing contrast between food and plate.

*The person may be unable to start the motion of eating, so place your hand over their hand and “kick start” by helping with two bites.

*Dentures are uncomfortable or food is too hard.

*Pain or discomfort.

*They just don’t like it!

*Be sure table height is appropriate to chair height. Elbows need to be above the table in order to eat.

*Serve finger foods to those who have difficulty using utensils. What snacks do your children like…bet they will like them too!