Better Hearing & Speech Month
For Better Hearing & Speech Month this May, we honor the Residential Home Health clinicians who help our patients express themselves, louder and clearer. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), sometimes called ‘speech therapists,’ are trained to assist with a number of communication disorders and related issues.
For patients having difficulties understanding or being understood, an SLP can assist with a range of functions, from improving cognitive processes to refining the mechanics of speech. These specialized clinicians draw on tools and skills that can help boost all facets of communication, spoken and otherwise. Read on to learn how the ‘speech’ in speech therapy is only the beginning.
Speak the Speech
Communication disorders can originate from many different conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly called ‘Lou Gehrig’s disease’), head injury, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure (CHF). Different disorders have different effects — some may cause loss of language ability, or affect the patient’s physical functions of motor speech. SLPs work one-on-one with patients to identify their particular speaking obstacles and use knowledge and targeted exercises to help overcome or adapt to them.
Many SLPs of Residential Home Health are also trained in the specialized LSVT LOUD® program, a proven intensive treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. LSVT LOUD® focuses on vocal amplification, which can help increase not only speaking volume, but also overall vocal quality and clarity, with effects that last for weeks after treatment ends.
More than Words
But the work of an SLP can also go beyond the complex mechanics of forming and speaking words. The discipline extends to other aspects of expression, such as comprehension, cognition, memory, and even nonverbal communication. For patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, an SLP has the training and experience to help assess and treat symptoms such as perseveration (repetitive speech or actions), both through direct care and adjustments and by working with caregivers and loved ones to enhance communication and understanding.
SLPs are also experts at treating swallowing disorders, which can occur after stroke or in advanced stages of dementia. Residential Home Health SLPs have also trained to provide VitalStim® Therapy, which uses electrical stimulation to support the effectiveness of swallowing exercises. These clinicians deserve a chorus of thanks for their many efforts to enable better understanding, better expression, and better quality of life through better hearing and speech.
To determine whether you or your loved one might benefit from in-home speech-language pathology or other home care services from Residential Home Health, call (888)930-WELL (9355) to discuss your specific situation with a Home Care Specialist today, or click here to take our Home Care Assessment.