Speech Therapy

Seniors: What Speech Therapy Can Do For You?

Speech therapy for seniors has many benefits. It is often necessary when recovering from some debilitating circumstance like dementia or a stroke. If a patient has undergone a head injury, speech therapy can also be an effective form of recovery. Because communication is so integral to our everyday life, speech therapy for seniors is important to help the elderly learn to effectively communicate their needs and desires. 

If your loved one is having difficulty communicating, there are a number of consequences to ignoring these speech and communication issues. You may need to consider speech therapy services for your loved one. Let’s discover the benefits and some cognitive games that help seniors on the road to speech recovery and therapy.

What is Speech Therapy for Seniors?

Speech therapy is an intervention method that helps seniors with impaired speech or swallowing difficulties learn to improve their communication skills. Through actionable therapy techniques, seniors can learn to communicate more effectively after a condition or injury. Comprehensive care is given to any speech therapy patient suffering from a stroke, head or brain injury, or seniors with esophageal conditions. 

By teaching a new way of breathing, or through lip, tongue, and mouth exercises, speech therapists can help an individual suffering from communication issues. This type of comprehensive speech therapy consists of learning new words and helping with organizing thoughts or improving memory.

Which Seniors Might Benefit from Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy can help with so many more skills pertaining to communication, both oral and written. This specialized therapy can assist with relationship building, brain development, and can improve overall quality of life.

Here are some top benefits of speech therapy for seniors:

  • Improves overall communication through the natural aging process, which is vital for the elderly
  • Speech therapy can improve overall cognitive development as the human brain is designed for speech, thinking, and reasoning activities involving the use of speech and language 
  • Gives people who cannot speak the ability to communicate in other ways and improve their social skills
  • Prevents injury or overuse of the vocal cords, or heals an injury
  • Helps people who have had a brain injury or stroke learn to swallow

Speech Therapy Helps Seniors Gain Confidence

For people affected by impaired speech, articulation is important. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines articulation disorder as the “atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, omissions, additions or distortions that may interfere with intelligibility.”

As people learn to articulate words properly, they improve their communication skills and confidence. The ability to communicate in any form is powerful and continues at any age. Speech therapy continues to help improve communication abilities over time. At a higher level of communication abilities, individuals who have difficulty having conversations can be taught how to interpret and respond to questions and statements as well as how to keep this conversation going. 

Cognitive Games for Seniors Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. There are several ways in which SLPs can help people articulate words better, one example being that of a ‘race to 100 games’. This game includes dice and a board. The individual rolls the dice, and when it lands on a specific sound, the individual says it out loud.

Some types of cognitive training conducted in a research setting also seem to have benefits. For the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial, healthy adults 65 and older participated in 10 sessions of memory training, reasoning training, or processing-speed training. The sessions improved participants’ mental skills in the area in which they were trained with evidence suggesting these benefits persisted for two years.

Enhance Your Speech with Therapy at South Coast Post Acute

While these simple exercises can be of great benefit, sometimes you need the help of a professional to get back to feeling your best and living the life you deserve. At South Coast Post Acute, our expert staff provides exceptional speech therapy and comprehensive care to each and every one of our patients, providing an outstanding rehabilitation experience. Contact us today and learn why we’re the rehabilitation center of choice in Southern California.

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