Speech therapy may be necessary for anyone recovering from a stroke or head injury, or for those suffering from dementia. It’s important to be able to communicate effectively; for seniors, it’s crucial. They need to be able to describe what they need or where they have pain in order to avoid, in some cases, emergency situations.
Speech therapy can also help seniors who have trouble communicating. If your loved one has difficulty answering questions or asking for assistance, speech therapy is worth pursuing. In dementia patients, speech therapy helps preserve brain function associated with communication.
A Speech Therapist offers a variety of tools and exercises to improve communication and cognitive skills. Seniors also benefit from the monitoring of and modification of swallowing and special feeding techniques; recommended diet plans can eliminate the risk of choking while eating.
A comprehensive speech therapy evaluation helps the therapist determine the cause of the problem, including ruling out medication-related issues, depression, and dehydration as possible factors. Seniors frequently acquire speech difficulties due to the aging process, as vocal cords and larynx muscles weaken and become less elastic. Speech therapy utilizes vocal exercises to help them communicate effectively.
Seniors recovering from a stroke can suffer from aphasia, a communication disorder that impairs their ability to use and to comprehend language, including speech and the ability to read or write. Rehabilitation is required; when treatment is started immediately, recovering the ability to use and understand speech is possible. Illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias are more common in seniors; the diseases can all affect cognition, swallowing, communication skills, voice projection, and voice modulation. Patients who are not correctly diagnosed, or don’t get necessary speech therapy, may suffer from isolation, depression, and inadequate support and medical care.
For information about the benefits of speech therapy for seniors, please contact your family physician.
200 S. 8th Ave. East
Newton, IA 50208