As seniors grow older, they sometimes find it harder to speak or swallow normally. The reasons for these problems may be age-related. However, they may also be the result of specific health conditions. In either case, affected seniors can often counteract their problems with the benefit of speech therapy. Therapy of this type is specifically designed to help you improve your ability to speak and swallow. For many older adults, it’s important to find a retirement community that offers senior speech therapy services.
Basics of Speech Therapy
Advancing age is accompanied by many changes in the way your body functions. For some seniors, those changes include decreasing elasticity in their vocal cords. They may also include weakening in the muscles that form the larynx. In addition, there are health issues that can lead to similar problems.
Speech therapy is a form of care that focuses on your speech, language, and swallowing skills. Your therapist begins by assessing the specific problems affecting you. A plan is then developed to help you deal with those problems.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to speech therapy. Instead, all senior speech therapy services are customized to meet your specific needs. Examples of the options that may form part of your personalized plan include the following:
- Tongue movement exercises
- Word games
- Syllable counting exercises
- Exercises to improve swallowing muscle coordination
Your therapist may also show you practical ways to compensate for the effects of swallowing problems.
Improved Age-Related Function as a Benefit of Speech Therapy for Seniors
One of the main benefits of speech therapy is helping you offset age-related speech and swallowing issues. With help from therapy, you may find it much easier to speak clearly and communicate with others. You may also find it much easier to eat, chew your food and swallow. Improvements such as these can help you stay as independent as possible in retirement.
Overcoming Health Problems With the Help of Senior Speech Therapy Services
Speech therapy can also support your recovery from health problems that are more common among seniors. The list of such problems includes:
- A form of speech muscle weakness called dysarthria
- A swallowing disorder called dysphagia
If you have dementia, speech therapy may help you preserve some of your core communication abilities. If you’re recovering from a stroke, it can help you overcome the effects of the communication disorder called aphasia. If you have dysarthria, the therapy can help you strengthen and coordinate the muscles used in speech. In addition, it promotes more efficient swallowing in seniors with dysphagia.
Other Potential Benefits of Speech Therapy
Participation in speech therapy for seniors may also help you in other, less direct ways. If you have swallowing difficulties, the therapy can increase your chances of maintaining your calorie intake. As a result, it can help you avoid unwanted weight loss.
Seniors with speech problems often feel anxious or uncomfortable in social situations. Speech therapy may help you overcome social discomfort. In turn, you may feel more relaxed and confident in everyday life.
Learn More About the Advantages of Senior Speech Therapy Services at Parkway Place
Do you or your loved one need speech therapy in retirement? Talk to the senior living experts at Parkway Place. We can help you assess your need for speech therapy. We can also show you how you may benefit from therapy in your specific situation.
Parkway Place features senior speech therapy services for all residents. Whether your issues are age- or illness-related, our customized plans support your improved function. For more information on how we can help, call us today at 833.539.1363. You can also complete our brief online form and allow us to get back to you.