The Swallowing Clinic

Eating Safety and Quality of Life

Safe eating and swallowing are essential for maintaining nutrition and good health. As we age, we may experience normal changes in our chewing and swallowing abilities, sometimes leading to discomfort. A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) can provide strategies to reduce minor difficulties when you are eating and drinking.

People may sometimes experience difficulties which different than normal, age-related changes associated with eating and swallowing. These might be associated with one or more medical conditions. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) can affect your health in several ways and have a significant impact on your quality of life.

If you experience any of the following when you eat and drink, you should consult your family doctor and ask about a referral to an SLP for a swallowing assessment:

  • Coughing or clearing your throat when eating/drinking or immediately after
  • Choking
  • Increased effort or difficulty with chewing or swallowing
  • Food sticking in your throat
  • A wet or gurgly voice during or immediately after eating/drinking
  • Avoidance of certain foods because of fear of choking
  • Spitting out of food or food pieces
  • Taking longer than usual to complete a meal
  • Fatigue during the meal

Dysphagia may also affect your social life by limiting your activities; e.g., if you avoid eating in restaurants or with friends or decline invitations for celebrations because of your mealtime difficulties.

As part of Baycrest’s outpatient clinics, our Speech-Language Pathologistsprovide care for individuals with dysphagia through assessment, treatment and counseling, based on best practices and current research. With our knowledge and expertise in dysphagia, our services are tailored to the specific needs of both geriatric clients and people with neurological or medical illnesses.

If you suspect that you have a swallowing problem, call The Swallowing Clinic at (416) 785-2500, ext. 2352 for guidance. Referrals from your doctor can be faxed to (416) 785-5533.


The speech-language pathologist provides services to seniors experiencing swallowing difficulties. Physician referral required.

Fee: currently there is no charge for The Swallowing Clinic.

For further information: Call The Swallowing Clinic at 416-785-2500, ext. 2352.

The Swallowing Clinic referral form