Communicating by speech is extremely important for everyone, but elderly adults who have sustained serious health issues may find their speech is negatively impacted. Without speech, seniors may not be able to request things from family caregivers and senior care providers, manage their medical or financial matters, answer questions about their health or socialize properly.
If your aging mom has experienced a decline or disruption in her speech, you may be wondering whether things will ever be the same for her. Depending on the cause of the lost speech, seniors may fully recover or be deprived of speech for the rest of their lives. With support from doctors and speech therapists, your elderly mom may regain some or all their ability to speak.
What Health Issues Affect Speech?
Certain debilitating health issues can affect a person’s ability to speak properly. Loss of speech could originate as either a cognitive problem or physical problem, or even both. Cognitive problems mean that some conditions affect how the brain transmits signals to and from the ears and mouth. Physical problems are those that directly affect the muscles, vocal cords and face or mouth. Both can leave seniors without the ability to communicate verbally.
Some of the most common causes of lost speech include:
- Facial palsy
- Dental problems
- Side effects of medicine
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Hardening of larynx muscles
- Tightening of vocal cords
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
Speech therapy for aging adults can help improve communication but the sooner they can receive help, the more effective the therapy will be. Seniors need to be able to talk about their needs to family caregivers, senior care providers, and doctors, especially in regard to their health. Aging adults who lack speech often find themselves withdrawing socially, experiencing frustration and even developing depression. Family caregivers should never ignore speech issues in their elderly loved ones.
Speech Therapy May Help Elderly Adults Regain Speech
A speech therapist will work with elderly adults to relearn how to speak, based on the cause of the problem. They’ll assist seniors in vocal exercises and cognitive exercises, plus language comprehension exercises. In some cases, seniors are relearning how to speak, while in other cases they are simply working to regain control of the muscles and tissues in the face, mouth, and throat. Family caregivers and senior care providers can also help aging adults at home with certain exercises, under the direction of the speech therapist.
Recovering speech is definitely possible, even partially. Depending on your aging mom’s overall health, the cause of the speech loss and how hard she works in therapy, she might regain a lot of her ability to verbally communicate.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Westminster, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.