Many individuals who receive caregiving services at home live with the effects of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and strokes. These conditions and many others that often affect seniors regularly require speech therapy.
Speech therapy is not all about pronunciation, despite popular opinion. Therapists work with patients to address issues involving the voice, language, cognition, and swallowing. Therapists also often have experience with different medical conditions.
Are you unsure if a loved one needs speech therapy? Keep reading to learn more about speech therapy and the benefits it may offer your loved one.
Signs a Senior Needs Speech Therapy
Speech therapy may be necessary for many different situations. While some issues relate to physical health, others may be because of cognitive issues or mental health. If you notice these signs, you may need to consult with a caregiver to learn more about speech therapy services.
Individuals who struggle to respond to questions may need therapy. In fact, difficulty with any verbal expression is a sign that something else may be wrong. Seniors must be able to convey their needs in some way.
Speech therapy may help individuals who choke when they eat or drink. This condition is common with individuals who require caregiving, but you might find this condition scary to deal with. Professional help may take care of this issue.
Individuals living with certain medical conditions may benefit from speech therapy too. These conditions include multiple sclerosis, aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and hearing loss. Therapists help with more than the physical aspects of speech. They also assist with cognition as it relates to speech.
Activities of Senior Speech Therapy
Speech therapy for activities includes improving the dexterity of the mouth. The therapist will lead motor exercises of the tongue, lips, and jaw to open the therapy session.
For some patients, the therapist will use familiar items, like photos, to lead discussion. For patients with dementia, a previous stroke, and Alzheimer's, these activities can create neural connections and facilitate cognition.
The therapist may also participate in board games and card games to improve mental conditioning associated with verbalizing ideas. For individuals dealing with the aftermath of a stroke, therapists may help them learn to associate words with pictures. Flashcards are a useful tool.
Individuals with communication deficits that tumors, stroke, and other cognitive impediments caused may benefit from learning to use communicative devices in therapy. Devices may become a more prominent part of your loved one's life, so training sessions will help them learn.
The therapist may help with singing and making sounds to make intonations when words do not come quickly to an individual's mind. Practicing this technique may allow for better communication with caregivers and family members.
Benefits of Speech Therapy for Seniors
Speech therapy is beneficial for individuals who need to improve with eating and swallowing. Individuals with dysphagia, a swallowing problem, will benefit from nutritional help, swallowing analysis, and education regarding swallowing techniques.
Speech therapy can also help with memory recall. The more often the patient must use their memory to recall ideas and words, the easier they may be able to communicate with others.
Ultimately, speech therapy can improve the quality of life of patients living with communication issues. Seniors must be able to describe their needs, especially if they face grave medical consequences.
Speech Therapy & Caregiving for Seniors
Speech therapy may be the best choice for your loved one, but you need to get in touch with a professional to receive a specific treatment plan.
Call Redi-Nurse to learn more about our caregiving services. We offer 40 years of experience with compassionate caregiving and health care. Our services are comprehensive and include speech therapy when our patient needs it.