The ability to communicate effectively is extremely important, especially for seniors who may be facing speech-related issues due to age or illness. Speech issues may not only cause awkward social situations but also emergency situations if the senior is unable to communicate discomfort or some other concern
Here’s how speech therapy can help seniors.
Like many other body parts, vocal cords lose elasticity with age, weakening the larynx muscles and making communication more difficult. Speech therapy exercises can strengthen the muscles, aiding the improvement in verbal communication.
Another effect of weak muscles is the reduced ability to swallow, which increases the risk of choking. Speech therapy can strengthen vocal cords and jaw muscles, improving the swallowing reflex and increasing comfort during meals.
Speech therapy is recommended for patients after a stroke, targeting aphasia and apraxia.
Aphasia refers to the inability to find the right words to express thoughts, such as saying “table” when the patient means “chair.”
Apraxia refers to the inability of a patient to move their lips properly to form words.
Immediate speech therapy treatment increases the chances of full recovery.
Memory loss and dementia
Patients struggling with memory loss and dementia may benefit from speech therapy. Speech therapists can address various aspects of communication, including attention and problem-solving.
Quality of life
Improving the senior’s ability to speak improves their safety, health, and quality of life since they can engage in social activities.