What is Speech Language Pathology, exactly?
Contrary to popular belief,
Speech Language Pathologists – also referred to as a “Speech Therapists” – do more than just treat stutters and lisps. SLP therapists work closely with patients to provide evaluations and remediation of a variety of disorders and/or delays. Some include:
By preventing, assessing, diagnosing and treating speech disorders—including language, communication, cognitive and swallowing disorders, speech therapy is an essential component to the home health model of care.
Communication disorders affect daily tasks like talking on the phone, communicating with family members or physicians or even calling 911 in an emergency. Aphasia, dysarthria and general weakness can contribute to communication difficulties.
Speech therapists develop verbal and nonverbal communication systems that include pictures or icons to allow patients to communicate effectively. Clinicians will also educate using oral motor and breathing exercises, compensatory strategies and education to family members as well.
Memory loss and disorientation can often result from a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or general cognitive impairments. Sometimes, medication side effects or even dehydration can contribute to these deficits.
To help patients with cognitive impairments, speech therapists develop programs with structured memory tasks, problem solving, reasoning, visual and auditory aids, calendars and family education.
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a common diagnosis in home health patients. This can cause weight loss, aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) and aspiration pneumonia, which is a very serious condition.
To combat these risks, speech therapists help patients modify their diets, educate on safe swallow strategies, practice oral motor and pharyngeal exercises and complete Modified Barium Swallow Studies.
Speech Language Pathology
Often times, patients experience an inability to talk and communicate, difficulty swallowing or poor memory and disorientation. To address these issues, speech therapy focuses on the following areas.
- Articulation disorders
- Cognitive impairments or delays
- Social language use or pragmatic disorders
- Expressive and receptive language impairments or delays
- Voice disorders
- Auditory processing disorde
- Oral motor and oral feeding issues
- Dysphagia (swallowing)
- Memory improvement
Call Hope Health Care Services, Speak with a qualified home health assistant.