As your senior ages, there might be times when she could benefit from having speech therapy. Specific illnesses, like recovering from a stroke, could also mean that speech therapy along with other types of occupational therapy address issues she’s having. It can be helpful to understand how exactly Speech Therapy at Home can make a difference for your elderly family member, no matter why she’s finding herself in need of this type of therapy.
Strengthen Vocal Cords
The vocal cords are muscles and like any muscles, they can become weaker when they’re not used as often. Older adults can often find that their vocal cords shrink and weaken, especially if they’re not speaking as often. Special speech exercises in occupational therapy can help to strengthen your senior’s vocal cords and improve her ability to speak.
Helping to Avoid Greater Difficulty Swallowing
Because the vocal cords are in the esophagus, these muscles are also involved in helping your elderly family member to swallow her food and drink. When these muscles are weakened, it’s more difficult for her to swallow and she may even find that she chokes or almost chokes more often. Speech therapy that strengthens vocal cords also helps to strengthen the rest of the muscles in the same area, which can reduce difficulties around swallowing.
Treating Aphasia and Apraxia
Aphasia and apraxia are two common issues that can affect someone after a stroke, but they can affect your senior due to other reasons as well. Apraxia, specifically of speech, involves your senior knowing what she wants to say but being unable to say it correctly. Aphasia is difficulty communicating, and sometimes understanding, both in written and verbal forms. Speech therapy works with your elderly family member to manage these conditions.
Reducing Depression and Isolation
Both isolation and depression are very common for people with communication difficulties and for aging adults who live far away from family members. It can be embarrassing for your elderly family member to feel as if she isn’t able to communicate well with others, which can make her start to avoid interacting with other people. This can quickly lead to depression, both because of her difficulties and because of isolation.
Stimulating the Brain
The activities and exercises that occupational therapy teaches your senior can help to keep her brain stimulated. Speech therapy offers significant brain benefits that help her to communicate more clearly, assist her in retaining attention, and even in solving problems. These are all seriously useful skills that also ensure that her brain is still engaging on a consistent basis. All of this is related to neuroplasticity, and that ensures a healthier brain.
Speech therapy may be part of a larger overall plan for helping your elderly family member to recover from an illness or it may be the highly specific therapy that she needs. Occupational therapy at home means that your senior can have the help that she needs right in the comfort of her home, without having to worry about the logistics of getting to an appointment.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Speech Therapy at Home in Pennington, NJ, or the surrounding area please contact the caring staff at Max Health & Wellness today. (732) 576-3550
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