Most people do not associate speech therapy with older adults. Traditionally, speech therapy is associated with children learning to express themselves, or adults trying to overcome a stutter. However, speech therapy is actually highly beneficial to older adults with speech problems. Speech therapy for your loved ones has many far-reaching benefits that cannot be ignored.
What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is a practice that helps clients address their individual issues with talking and swallowing. There are many reasons for these issues, and speech therapy works to tackle them all and develop one’s speech capability. All that being said, how can speech therapy help your loved one?
Reducing Weight Loss
As counterintuitive as it sounds, speech therapy can limit weight loss. Unsurprisingly, the part of speech therapy that addresses this is more to the ‘swallowing’ side. If your loved one suffers from conditions like dysphagia, it can lead to excessive weight loss, since food being consumed cannot reach the stomach. The nutrients from food are not taken into the body, and from there arises many dangers. Speech therapists have suggested methods for posture and pacing that can aid with the transfer and digestion of food in a body, in some cases, helping enough that more drastic medical intervention is unnecessary.
Similar to reducing weight loss, speech therapy can help overcome other problems associated with dysphagia. Patients with these conditions may encounter difficulties swallowing liquids and solid food. This brings about a number of concerns for the patient. A speech therapist can perform swallowing evaluations and suggest certain foods that an individual will find easier to swallow.
Speech training does what it is advertised to do, improve one’s speech. This is no different for older folks. Communication is fundamental in all things, so if your loved one can speak and communicate his or her problems coherently, it will go a long way to help. Certain conditions like aphasia, dysarthria, or stroke events can make it difficult for a person to speak. These conditions can affect the part of the brain that manages speech and the coordination of certain muscles vital to articulation. A speech therapist can help overcome these debilitations. By going to a speech therapist, your loved one might not need to undergo more intensive surgeries or operations.
Speech therapy can help those who are unable to understand or catch when others are talking, improve their comprehension. The condition of receptive aphasia affects one’s ability to understand language. Speech therapists have strategies to overcome conditions like these and improve the overall mental state of clients.
At Rittenhouse Village At Michigan City, we offer some speech therapy programs as well as other health services for you and your loved ones. Contact us or schedule a tour of our senior living community to learn more!