Epicebon : a technological innovation in the nutritional treatment of dysphagia
The CSSS des Sommets is serving something new to the residents in its three long-term care facilities (the Philippe Lapointe Pavilion in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, and the Centres d’hébergement in Mont Tremblant and Labelle) as well as hospitalized patients at the Laurentian Hospital in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. They are therapeutic foods that resemble conventional foods in appearance, taste and nutritional value. Clinical studies have shown that these foods, stemming from a new food technology for seniors, improves the health of people suffering from choking caused by dysphagia, and those who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. “All that we are doing is getting foods that are adapted to the conditions of people who have difficulty eating, while ensuring that these dishes are appetizing as well,” said the director general of the CSSS des Sommets, Yves Lachapelle.
Foods that are appetizing and easy to eat
Recently developed in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts by the clinical nutrition team of the CSSS des Sommets, these foods have resulted in considerably improving the wellbeing and eating pleasure of dyspagic people. Called Épicébon – a play on words meaning good and spicy – a dozen main dishes make up the selection, and includes chicken, beef, fish, pasta, veal, tourtière and shepherd’s pie. These nutritious foods look normal and appetizing. For the elderly, it is a pleasure to rediscover the normal appearance and authentic flavours of foods. “At least 30% of our residents and about 10% of the elderly aged 65 and over suffer from dysphagia, a total estimated at 400,000 people in Canada,” explained Mr. Lachapelle.
Consequences of dysphagia
People suffering from dysphagia are scared to eat conventional foods. A dysphagic person’s jaws are weaker (60 lbs) than those of a healthy person (120 lbs) which causes the dysphagic to be unable to chew properly. Malnutrition, weight loss, eating slowly, choking and infections, especially pneumonia, are among the many consequences of dysphagia, aside from the reduced quality of life and degree of autonomy.