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Benefits of Speech Therapy for Seniors in Skilled Nursing Homes

0 Comment Category: Foothill Heights

Speech therapy refers to a treatment procedure that addresses problems with verbal communication and swallowing. These problems may happen to seniors due to many different reasons and severely impact their overall well-being. Read on for are some of the essential benefits of speech therapy for seniors in skilled nursing homes.

It Helps to Improve Speech Affected by Brain Damage

Seniors who have had a stroke often experience brain damage that limits their speech functions. The loss of ability to understand or talk due to the injuries in the brain is called aphasia. Expressive aphasia refers to a state wherein seniors cannot speak but can understand things as usual. This condition indicates the brain’s inability to process speech impulses. Speech therapy can help train the mind and create new pathways for verbal communication to restore the patient’s average speaking ability.

It Helps to Improve Understanding Affected by Brain Damage

When seniors have trouble understanding but can speak clearly, it is called receptive aphasia. In this condition, the patient may not make any sense when talking due to their inability to understand. This indicates an issue of comprehension and can be addressed by speech therapy in the same way as expressive aphasia is treated. The speech therapist will work out the best treatment plan with written, spoken, and cognitive exercises and compensatory techniques to restore the highest level of communication possible.

It Helps to Improve Speech Affected by a Musculature Problem

Seniors with dysarthria will experience difficulty with using their lips and vocal muscles to speak as usual. This can result from a sensorimotor problem, such as paralysis, muscle weakness due to aging, or a sudden change in the muscle tone. Patients with dysarthria may even experience pitch and sound changes, difficulties in making sounds, and may unintentionally replace words without making any sense. Speech therapy with environmental medication can help to address the problem without involving any surgical intervention.

It Helps to Improve Swallowing Problems

Sometimes, seniors experience a structural change in their swallowing mechanism as an after-effect of stroke. This condition is called dysphagia, making it very difficult for the patient to swallow solid, or even liquid, food. This will eventually lead to leaking of digestive fluids to the respiratory tract and result in aspiration pneumonia. Speech therapy can help to address the problem by strengthening the throat muscles and training the brain to regulate the swallowing mechanism as usual. Caregivers at the skilled nursing home will also make food modifications to help with treating the condition.

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