While speech therapy is of course beneficial for children to correct any communication problems early on, it’s just as helpful for older adults challenged by a variety of conditions: cognitive problems, brain injury, stroke recovery, and more to overcome language and swallowing obstacles.
The professional in-home speech therapists at THE MEDICAL TEAM have provided answers to some of the top questions families have about speech therapy services for seniors:
How do I know if a senior needs speech therapy? If you notice any of the following symptoms, speech therapy can help:
- Communicating through whispering or speaking very softly
- Memory problems
- A hoarse or breathy tone of voice
- Speaking too rapidly
- Difficulty with finding the right words to use or in understanding others
- Other oral problems like sticking out the tongue
What will the speech therapist do to help? Because each person’s needs are unique, speech therapy services are targeted to the needs of each individual. A plan is created to address concerns through the teaching of strategies and techniques, with goals set, evaluated on a regular basis, and modified as needed.
What are some of the common disorders speech therapy can help with? Some of the most prevalent conditions our speech therapists encounter and can assist with include:
- Apraxia: Damage to the particular area of the brain that controls speech.
- Dysarthria: Weakened jaw and/or mouth muscles.
- Dysphagia: Problems with swallowing.
- Voice disorders: Weakened vocal muscles.
Is simply growing older a factor in speech and language problems? Yes, the aging process itself can lead to weaker muscle tone, trouble with swallowing, and reduced cognitive ability. Speech therapy can help in all of these instances.
To learn more about our speech therapy services[, or to schedule a speech evaluation for a senior right in the comfort of home with one of our certified speech pathologists, contact THE MEDICAL TEAM. We’ll work with a senior’s primary care physician to maximize language skills and reduce the effects of any swallowing concerns, resulting in the highest possible quality of life.