Speech is the bridge that allows our thoughts and feelings to step over and into the outside world. An old adage states that 90% of all communication is nonverbal. Beyond being disproven, that phrase is utter nonsense, for how could someone give a speech without speech or deliver an impassioned monologue while articulation is absent? This question takes a darker turn when considering how much we rely on speech to convey our emotions and feelings of discomfort.
Luckily, the modern world has provided tools, such as sign language and various digital applications, to assist those who are unable to or who have difficulty speaking. Unfortunately, these tools have proved less useful in the senior community. The mind is a beautiful thing, capable of learning and improving even as it advances in age. Still, it would be unreasonable, perhaps even unfair, if these were the only options available to seniors struggling with communication.
At Buckner Westminster Place, we offer a wide variety of evidence-based senior speech therapy services ranging from activities to help with memory loss to exercises that strengthen the vocal cords. Call 903.329.6520 for more information today.
What Kind of Senior Speech Therapy Services are Available?
Many different types of speech therapy are available in the modern world of medicine. Each of these services focuses on a different aspect of speech and may utilize different approaches. Typically, Senior speech therapy works to improve five areas: speech, comprehension, cognitive ability, reading, and writing. The approach taken by a speech therapist will depend on the issues affecting these areas, the severity of those issues, and whether they are related to an injury or illness. Based on this information, therapists will utilize a range of different exercises. Many speech-related issues are attributed to weak vocal cords, which become less elastic as time goes on. Exercising these muscles can also improve the larynx and problems with swallowing.
Other common speech issues pertain to memory, cognition, and comprehension and can be helped through consistent stimulation and activities. Some of the services one might encounter during speech therapy are:
- Melodic intonation therapy – patients vocalize words they have trouble with through song
- Visual Speech perception – patients strengthen their vocabulary by associating words with pictures
- Constraint-induced language therapy – patients exercise their articulation abilities by creating scenarios by only using words
- Art therapy – patients utilize art as a medium of communication
Each of these services offers a different approach to improving speech and can be applied to an assortment of speech issues.
What Are the Benefits of a Senior Speech Therapy Program?
The benefits of speech therapy go far beyond improving communication. When someone cannot communicate effectively, they can feel isolated, which may lead to severe depression. Improving communication improves the quality of life and emotional well-being by allowing seniors to feel heard and understood. This is especially true for those who have experienced a stroke and been diagnosed with aphasia, issues with word recall, or apraxia, the inability to move one’s lips.
Speech therapy is also beneficial to those who have problems with memory. This therapy preserves and stimulates the areas of the brain associated with communication and can improve word recall, cognition, and comprehension. In addition, speech therapy can help those who have issues with swallowing. Problems with swallowing pose a significant choking hazard and can lead to weight loss due to the discomfort it creates during the act of eating. The key to combatting speech issues is early diagnosis and immediate treatment, as it can dramatically increase the chances of sustained recovery.
Discover Quality Senior Speech Therapy at Buckner Westminster Place
As previously stated, speech is the bridge between our minds and the outside world, but sometimes, this bridge can be damaged. If a bridge is broken, one doesn’t simply cross it and hope for the best; they find the tools and resources needed to fix that bridge.
At Buckner Westminster Place in Longview, TX, we understand the hardship of having communication issues and the effect they can have on a person’s relationships and quality of life. We offer a wide selection of senior speech therapy-based services and welcome all questions about our facility and the care we provide. For more information, schedule an appointment or contact us today at 903.329.6520. You can also fill out our online form and let us get back to you.