Objectives To develop and assess a dysphagia training method involving lollipop sucking training in older adults with dementia, clarify its effectiveness for improving oral function. Methods Twenty-five older adults with dementia (5 males and 20 females, mean age 90.8 ± 6.7 years) were participated in this study. Participants were trained in lollipop sucking once a day, 3 times a week for 6 months. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Barthel Index (BI), Candy Sucking Test (CST), and BMI values were measured before and after the training. Participants were grouped into those who achieved >0.1 g/min increase in CTS value after the training (increase group) and those who did not (nonincrease group). Results No significant change was observed after the training. The increase group contained 4 patients and the non-increase group contained 21 patients. There were no significant differences in MMSE, BI, or BMI between the two groups before and after the training. However, the CST values of the increase group before the training (0.31 ± 0.13 g/min) were significantly lower than non-increase group (0.69 ± 0.27 g/min) (p < 0.01). Respective changes in BMI before and after training were 1.13 ± 0.85 kg/m² and −0.53 ± 1.76 kg/m² in the increase and non-increase, and the difference in these changes was statistically significant (p = 0.04). Conclusions Our new rehabilitation method was well accepted by older adults with dementia, and there was an improvement in oral function as a result of the rehabilitation, which had some good influence on weight gain.
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