Improving Breathing and Swallowing Ability in an 86 Year-Old Following COVID-19

Following recovery from COVID-19, this 86-year-old gentleman requested outpatient speech-language pathology services at Benedictine Living Community of Bismark. He was experiencing new onset of shortness of breath with inability to walk down the hallway (150 feet), oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty chewing and swallowing), and weight loss. Prior to his diagnosis of COVID-19, he had no difficulty with chewing or swallowing and walked an average of 3 miles a day at his assisted living facility.

Speech Therapy: (2x/week x 11 weeks)

OmniFlow™ Breathing Therapy Biofeedback

  • Deep inhalation – Diamond Mine
  • Forced expiration – Prehistoric Contest
  • Rhythmical breathing – Starry Road

Synchrony Dysphagia Solutions by ACP® With OmnisEMG™ Biofeedback

  • Swallow initiation, timing, and coordination using Bow and Arrow virtual reality (VR) representation of muscle movement
  • Effortful swallows using Kangaroo and Trace Display VR representation of muscle movement

Additional Interventions

  • Home exercise program for breathing and tongue movement exercises

I can’t believe how this changed my ability to enjoy meals with my friends. This was a game-changer for me!


This gentleman is thrilled with his success in therapy! Due to improvements in his breathing and swallowing, he has returned home (assisted living facility) to his normal routine of eating and drinking what he wants and walking 3 miles a day!

Andreé Akst, PT, MPT, CEEAA, NASM-CES, Clinical Services Content Specialist
Valerie Middleton, MA CCC-SLP, Clinical Program Consultant


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