Speech-language pathology is a specialized service that can help rehabilitate those suffering from speech and language issues. A speech therapist uses specific techniques to help patients retrain or learn the movements of the mouth. Any number of conditions can lead to the need for speech therapy in elderly patients, including stroke, dementia, or brain injury.
What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is a healthcare service offered at Santé, typically from the comfort of a patient’s home. For elderly patients who are receiving rehabilitation service for an illness, it’s important for them to be able to communicate via speech. Patients are asked a number of questions every day relating to their condition, so they must be able to communicate their pain level, how they feel, and what they need. Speech therapy gives patients the tools to train the muscles of their mouth and throat so they can use their voice.
There are three main areas that speech therapy helps to improve:
- Cognitive – speech as it relates to the brain
- Voice – ability to speak
- Dysphagia – problems eating and swallowing
What conditions benefit from speech-language pathology?
Speech therapy has many benefits. The most common conditions that benefit from speech-language pathology in elderly patients are stroke and dementia. Those suffering from these conditions need assistance reminding their brain how to speak. This is also common with an oral cancer diagnosis or head injury. Chemotherapy can inhibit a person’s ability to speak or swallow.
If you think your loved one is in need of speech therapy, ask these questions:
- Is your loved one able to communicate their needs?
- Does your loved one verbally respond when talked to?
- Is your loved one having trouble eating?
- Are you worried your loved one would be unable to communicate in an emergency?
- Has your loved one suddenly become quiet and unwilling to speak?
What techniques does a speech-language pathologist use?
A session with a speech therapist is different for every individual. Speech therapy typically requires consistent sessions and individual practice in order to see results. Family members can offer support by helping their loved one practice what they learn from their speech therapist. Depending on a patient’s condition, a speech therapist may address any number of areas of speech-language pathology.
- Voice sounds
- Throat strength
- Social responses
- Memory improvement
- Organization of thoughts
- Eating and swallowing
At Santé, we offer a variety of post-acute care services through our transitional rehabilitation centers throughout Arizona and our convenient home health care programs. Our innovative approach to healthcare focuses on healing the mind, body, and spirit. If you’re in need of speech-language pathology services, call (480) 264-4568 or contact us online. Or visit one of our five Arizona locations.