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When a loved one is having difficulty with their speech, chances are that person may feel helpless and uncomfortable.  Whether they’re frequently stuttering or cannot form certain word sounds perhaps it may be worth considering speech therapy

What is speech therapy?

When you say speech therapy, most people think about children having difficulties expressing themselves or adults stuttering when they speak. Well, speech therapy can actually be beneficial for all age groups. Speech therapy for seniors can address the problems related to speaking, swallowing, communication, articulation and cognition as it relates to communicating with others.

Speech therapy for seniors

Whether it’s about an issue with their self-confidence or if it’s from certain health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes, head injuries, or a cancer diagnosis.  If you are not sure whether an elderly family member is in need of speech therapy, here are some situations you should consider:

  • Do they struggle to respond to the question being asked?
  • Are they having a difficult time speaking clearly or can’t hear others speak clearly?
  • Does their speech problem create issues with their personal affairs?
  • Does the person seem to transpose words all the time? 
  • Do they have trouble swallowing or always have a feeling of something being stuck in their throat?
  • Are they hesitant to speak lately?
  • Have they recently suffered from aspiration or choking?

Speech therapy for seniors has been shown to create measurable improvements in:

  • Improving speech impacted by brain damage
  • Improves understanding affected by brain damage
  • Improves speech impacted by musculature problem
  • It improves swallowing
  • It prevents weight loss

Speech therapy can also address several speech disorders such as articulation disorders, fluency disorder, resonance disorder, receptive disorder and expressive disorders. These speech dysfunctions are often found with patients who have conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Multiple Sclerosis, History of Stroke,  Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Speech therapy for seniors may start with assessing the condition first to determine which treatment is best for an individual suffering from speech problems. Common speech therapy may include:

  • Singing
  • Visual speech perception
  • Muscle training
  • Constraint induced therapy
  • Support groups
  • Change of diet
  • Problem solving 
  • Breathing exercises for resonance
  • Conversational tactics to improve their communication skills

Not being able to communicate properly especially for seniors can be frustrating. Speech therapy can help them assess the problem and give them the best possible treatment. Give your elderly loved one the gift of communication with speech therapy. For more information on speech therapy and home healthcare, contact us at Sunshine Home Healthcare.