At Assisting Hands Home Care, we are committed to helping senior citizens live as independently as possible within their own homes.
However, when seniors have trouble speaking and communicating, this cannot only make their lives more difficult, but also more dangerous as being unable to describe pain or symptoms to others can lead to medical emergencies.
If you have elderly loved ones in Fort Myers, FL that have difficulties speaking or swallowing, Assisting Hands can help by providing speech therapy.
Seniors who have experienced a stroke, head or neck injury, or cancer of the mouth or throat are the most susceptible to speech or swallowing issues.
Our licensed and accredited speech therapists will create a care plan for your loved one that will help improve their speech and language capacity and help with swallowing and other related issues.
The goal of our speech therapy is to improve your loved one’s ability to communicate as well as their cognition and language comprehension.
We also address hydration and nutrition issues related to swallowing to help your loved one live a healthier lifestyle.
How do you know when seniors need speech therapy?
Speech therapy is often sought out for seniors who have suffered a stroke, major head injury, or oral or throat cancer as well as for seniors in the early stages of dementia.
Some families may seek out speech therapy for elderly relatives with more minor symptoms like anxiety speaking around others and stuttering issues.
It is also possible for the aging process to cause loosening of the vocal chords and weakening of the larynx muscles which makes speech difficult.
Your senior relative may need speech therapy if they exhibit any of the following:
- Difficulty responding to others or asking for things
- Difficulty handling their personal business because they cannot communicate effectively
- Trouble swallowing
- Inability to communicate clearly in emergency situations
- Reluctance to speak
- Trouble speaking audibly
- Frequent mixing up of their words
Speech Therapy from Assisting Hands
When you call Assisting Hands for speech therapy, we will send a therapist to the home of your loved one to evaluate their condition.
The therapist will determine if they are having aphasia related issues (difficulty understanding and expressing speech) or dysphasia issues (difficulty generating speech or swallowing) and create a care plan to help address these issues.
The care plan will include treatments recommended by the speech therapist that are generally determined by the cause of the issue.
Common treatments conducted by speech therapists include:
- Singing: Working on melodic intonations for words the patient has trouble pronouncing
- Constraint-Induced Therapy: Focus using spoken words without any visuals
- Visual Speech Perception: Picture/ word association exercises to help improve cognitive capacity
- Support Groups: Patient can interact with peers that have experienced similar issues
- Diet/ Feeding Modifications: Special diet and feeding methods to help those with swallowing difficulties
- Muscle Retraining or Compensation: Exercises to help strengthen muscles needed for speech and swallowing.
We can provide speech therapy for seniors affected by the following conditions:
- Stroke: One in four seniors who experience a stroke suffer from aphasia, a condition in which those affected have difficulty comprehending and using speech. The severity of the language or swallowing issues depends on the severity of the stroke, but even a minor stroke has been known to impair speech or swallowing. If speech therapy starts soon enough after the stroke, the affected individual will have a much better chance of recovery. Our speech therapists will help stroke victims improve their ability to speak and understand language and help them learn to swallow safely. Recommended therapies may include singing or melodic sounds, word/ picture association exercises, diet modifications, and exercises to strengthen muscles used for speaking.
- Dementia: Those suffering from dementia have a difficult time communicating and understanding language and the effect dementia has on the memory makes it difficult to process and retain information. They may also have difficulty reasoning or solving problems. Our speech therapists will help improve language skills which can reduce memory loss and give affected individuals better reasoning skills. We will also address swallowing issues and help ensure that your loved one is eating and drinking enough to stay healthy. Many of the same treatments used for stroke victims are also used for those with dementia.
- Head Injuries and Head, Neck and Throat Cancer: Head trauma and cancer related surgeries on the brain, throat, and neck can make it difficult for seniors to speak or swallow afterwards. The severity of the situation will differ between patients depending on their specific condition and the type of surgeries they have experienced. Treatment may include some of the same therapies used for stroke and dementia patients, as well as electric stimulation of the throat muscles to help them regain the use and control of these muscles.
If your elderly relatives in the Fort Myers, FL area could benefit from speech therapy, contact Assisting Hands Home Care. You will work with one of our licensed and accredited speech therapists to understand and treat the speech and swallowing issues that your loved one is experiencing.