Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
This Information Bulletin clarifies the services and supports that must be in place to ensure safe dining & mealtime practices in all Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) funded residential settings, as well as all Community Day Service (CDS) programs.
Meals should be prepared and served with dignity, deference to the personal preferences of the individuals and in accordance with their health and physical needs as outlined in their Personal Plan and Implementation Strategy. Individuals with developmental disabilities may have factors that increase the risk of choking. Because of the risk factors associated with choking, it is critical that care givers ensure adequate supervision of individuals, are trained, and familiar with the needs of the individuals they serve. Providers should have policies in place to maintain safe dining practices as well as guidance as to what to do if an individual starts choking.
Some people may feel embarrassment when they choke and move away from others. This places them at an increased risk because they are less likely to be near people who can help. When food is served, be alert for those who leave without warning and check on them to ensure they are not in need of assistance. Do not hesitate to call 911 if someone is in need of immediate medical assistance.
Illinois Department of Human ServicesJB Pritzker, Governor · Grace B. Hou, Secretary
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