Speech-language therapy is designed to help speech disorders and communication problems.  Many people believe speech therapy can only help children; however, people of all ages can benefit from this form of communication therapy, including senior citizens.  At Premier Home Care, our certified speech therapists are an integral part of the rehabilitation team, with expertise in managing communication and swallowing disorders.   We provide care throughout greater Philadelphia.

Different Types of Speech Conditions Affecting Seniors

There are numerous reasons why a senior might need speech therapy.  When older adults have dementia, Parkinson’s, or a stroke, they may lose some of their ability to communicate.  Typically, in these cases, the loss of speech is caused by one of the following conditions:

Aphasia – A condition in which the individual has difficulty finding the right word for a thought. Aphasia also affects the ability to read and write.  There are six different types of aphasia: Anomic, Broca’s, Global, Mixed Non-Fluent, Primary Progressive, and Wernicke’s.

Apraxia – A neurological disorder where the individual has trouble placing words correctly due to the inability to execute oral movements and gestures.  The brain knows what it wants to say; however, it cannot plan the sequence of actions required to convert the thought into speech.  

Dysphasia – A speech disorder caused by brain damage, usually from a stroke, infection, injury, or tumor.  Dysphasia causes a disconnect in the brain between the pathways that turn thoughts into spoken language.  There are three main types of dysphasia: Expressive, Receptive, and Global.  Problems swallowing are usually a result of dysphasia. 

Dysarthria – A motor speech disorder affecting the muscles used to produce speech, such as the tongue and voicebox. Dysarthria is caused by damage to the nervous system resulting from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease. 

Geriatric Speech Therapy Exercises and Games

At Premier Home Care, we implement different techniques when putting together a speech therapy treatment plan.  Games and exercises help stimulate the brain through repetition, ultimately encouraging new areas of the brain to take on the function of speech.  Whether you suffer from aphasia, apraxia, dysphagia, or dysarthria, your condition will dictate which methods are recommended.  Several examples of exercises and games include the following:

  • Consonant & vowel repetition
  • Word games
  • Breathing exercises
  • Tongue strengthening exercises
  • Synonym and antonym games
  • Preposition exercises

How Can Speech Therapy Help a Senior?

Examples of how a speech therapist can help improve speech function include the following:

  • Improving pitch, speed, and movement skills
  • Enhancing sensorimotor problems by strengthening the muscles involved in speech
  • Reteaching swallowing techniques and changing diet habits
  • Increasing comprehension and cognitive language skills

Losing the ability to speak is a terrible health condition not only affecting communication but mental health, as well.  Interacting with our fellow human beings is the thread that connects us socially.  When this is taken away, depression and social isolation ensue.  Don’t wait until your speech impairment becomes unmanageable.   Contact us today for a comprehensive speech therapy assessment at 215-969-2225.  We cover the entire greater Philadelphia and will come to you in the comfort of your home.