CUEzie - Cueing Cupholder Variety Pack

CUEzie - Cueing Cupholder Variety Pack

Jennifer Papa, MS, MS, CCC-SLP

Innovative cup holders designed for persons with swallowing difficulties due to dysphagia provide continuous reminders for safe swallowing. Designed to fit most bottles, cans, glasses and cups, the CUEzie variety pack is a must purchase for hospitals, rehabilitation programs, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living programs, residential services, and home care. They can be used in any environment for persons with dysphasia. The large print cues to tuck your chin, swallow hard, and take small sips are especially helpful reminders for persons with cognitive disorders and memory impairments.

Item: CUEV
Price: $20.00
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Full Description

Large print on cup holders has a bold reminder to “Tuck Your Chin, Swallow Hard, and Take Small Sips.” These functional cup holders have demonstrated benefits of:

• Decreased risk of aspiration pneumonia

• Reduced need for continuous supervision and verbal cueing during meals

• Increased carry-over of strategies in dysphagia groups and dining programs

• Reinforcement of strategies with caregivers and family members

• Cost effective

• Easy to use

Constructed with collapsible foam koozie, they hold standard bottled/canned beverages in addition to many tall glasses and adaptive cups. Written cues in large navy blue font provide a constant reminder with each sip for 3 common swallowing strategies of

• Take Small Sips

• Tuck Your Chin

• Swallow Hard!

Pages 3 cups in Variety Pack
Year 2013


Jennifer Papa, MS, MS, CCC-SLP

Jennifer is a speech-language pathologist with an additional Master's Degree in Healthcare Leadership. She is currently working as a Rehabilitation Director in Boston. Jennifer established Bright Side Therapy, LLC in 2012. The company was inspired by years of experience working with the adult brain injury population in various settings. In 2011, she began developing the patent-pending Visuospatial Training Tablet (VSTT) which uses LED lights and sound to stimulate and retrain attention in patients with hemispatial neglect. Bright Side Therapy launched the VSTT and the CUEzie (the first dysphagia koozie!) at the ASHA Convention in 2012.

Jennifer is also a Reiki Level II practitioner with a strong interest in meditation and cognition. She is looking forward to introducing products in this area during 2013.


The CUEzie Variety Pack includes 3 cups marked Tuck Your Chin, Swallow Hard! and Take Small Sips.




Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder affecting millions of patients each year following various medical conditions including cancer, brain injury, stroke and dementia. As many as 45% of people over 75 suffer symptoms of dysphagia (European Journal of Public Health Website 1997. It has been estimated that as many as 66% of those in long-term care experience dysphagia to some extent. Dysphagia can often result in pneumonia, which is the second most common diagnosis in nursing home residents (Langmore et al, 2002).

Current Treatment Approaches

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) treat dysphagia in 3 ways:

1) exercising the swallow musculature;

2) changing the diet texture or liquid consistency; and

3) recommending compensatory swallowing strategies.

Some common compensatory techniques include: tucking the chin before each swallow, swallow hard (effortful swallow), taking small sips, turning the head to the left or right, alternating food with drink. During treatment, SLPs provide varying levels of verbal cueing to remind the patient to utilize a prescribed strategy. Often patients with dysphagia also present with concomitant memory deficits. Therefore, these patients require more frequent cues to utilize the strategies.

CUEzie Benefits

The CUEzie offers age-appropriate and continuous written cueing during meals and snacks for dysphagia patients who rely on the proper use of compensatory strategies to swallow safely. It also acts as reminder for medical staff, family and caregivers to ensure patient safety during oral intake.


The CUEzie offers 3 evidence-based compensatory strategies often recommended by speech-language pathologists following a dysphagia bedside evaluation, Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS) or Fibroendoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES).

The chin tuck is useful in slowing down the swallow for patients with a delayed onset of the pharyngeal swallow. It also narrows the airway by pushing the tongue posteriorly and widening the vallecular space for a more protective position. In a study of patients status post esophagectomy with dysphagia, the chin tuck eliminated aspiration in 17/21 patients (Lewin, 2001).

The effortful swallow technique or swallowing hard is designed to improve tongue base contact to the posterior pharyngeal wall during the swallow. The patient is instructed to “squeeze” all throat and neck muscles hard as he/she swallows. This act of a hard swallow helps increases the oral and pharyngeal pressure to aid in clearing the bolus for patients with pharyngeal residue (Logemann, 1998). It may also reduce the depth of penetrated material.

Reducing the bolus size or taking small sips is a common strategy which allows for improved control for patients with oral weakness and delayed swallow trigger. A patient’s aspiration may be eliminated by simply reducing the size of the sip.

During skilled SLP intervention, the patient is verbally cued during a meal or snack to utilize the appropriate strategy. The family and caregivers are also educated to ensure carry-over of the proper strategies throughout the day.


“This is brilliant. I want to buy them.” Ilana, CCC-SLP in Boston

“For all of our dysphagia folks, this is amazing!” Jarret, Rehab Manager in Boston

“Genius. SLPs will love these.” Cate, CCC-SLP in Boston

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