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Trouble Swallowing or Speaking
Do you notice that you or someone you love:
These are a few of the signs that a person may benefit from speech therapy.
Who Can Speech Therapy Help?
Speech therapists can help people who are having trouble with swallowing or speaking. The problem may be due to any of a number of conditions, including:
Training to Swallow?
Aspiration pneumonia is when food or liquids are accidentally breathed into the lungs, causing an infection. Pneumonia is a serious illness that can sometimes cause death.
Someone who coughs and sputters or often clears their throat during or after meals may be inhaling small amounts of food or fluid into the airway.
Speech therapists can assess for this condition and advise patients and families about foods, fluids and eating techniques that will minimize the risk of aspiration.
Speech therapy teaches practical tips, physical strengthening exercises, repetitive practice and other strategies to improve articulation, tone, rate and intensity of the voice.
A stroke or other condition can make speech difficult to understand, or it may make it difficult for the speaker to understand others. Speech therapy can identify ways to facilitate communication.
When memory has been impaired by disease or head injury, speech therapists can help patients learn new skills for organizing and remembering.
Improved Quality of Life
Speech therapy can improve quality of life for those with swallowing and speech problems. It can:
If you or a loved one has any of the problems we’ve described here, and think speech therapy might help, talk to your doctor. Speech therapy is available in an outpatient setting, or through home health. You may qualify for speech therapy in your home if you are mostly homebound and going out requires a great effort.
Pathways has highly trained speech therapists who can evaluate swallowing and communication problems and provide treatment as needed.
Who Pays for Speech Therapy?
Medicare and senior HMOs are among the health insurance plans that cover speech therapy when indicated.
Contact us today for a free informational visit. We are here to help.
We hope that you find our other Educational Resource pages helpful.
Instructions: Click the title to download instructional materials in PDF format.
Caregiver Support - Instructional Materials
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Copyright 2010 Pathways. All rights reserved. Last update:
December 13, 2011