When you think of speech therapy, you generally see school-based professionals assisting youngsters with pronouncing R’s or overcoming a lisp. However, communication skills are crucial at any age, especially for mature adults whose speech may be hampered by age or sickness. Aside from the social implications of speech impairment, if your loved ones are unable to convey pain, discomfort, or other issues, emergency scenarios might arise. Speech therapy for mature adults is fortunately accessible, and it has benefits beyond increased communication. Here is how speech therapy can benefit your loved ones.
Strengthened Vocal Cords
Did you know that your vocal cords can lose elasticity as you age? This is because vocal cords, like many other parts of our bodies, will weaken over time. This can make communication more difficult as time pass. And while speech therapy may not “repair” the suppleness of the vocal cords to what it is before, certain vocal exercises can strengthen them and enhance the communication quality. Essentially, speech therapy can strengthen your loved ones’ vocal cords.
Treats Dementia and Memory Loss
One common issue that mature adults (or your loved ones) may suffer from is dementia and memory loss. And speech therapy can help them with that. This is even in the case where their speaking abilities are normal. Why is this so? Speech therapy can help to sustain communication-related brain functioning while also addressing cognitive components of communication such as attention and problem-solving. Thus, speech therapy can treat dementia and memory loss. In addition, you can also seek therapists together with your loved ones. They can help your loved ones by training both you and your loved ones how to communicate better with each other, especially when they are suffering from memory loss.
Improves Quality of Life
Another great benefit of speech therapy? It will improve the quality of life of your family members. For practical and social reasons, communication is essential, which is why many mature adults with untreated speech impairments are at risk of isolation and medical concerns. Thus, improving your loved ones’ capacity to communicate better helps to improve their safety, health, and quality of life by allowing them to participate in social activities. After all, won’t you agree that if you can communicate your thoughts and opinions better, you will feel happier?
Enhances the Ability to Swallow
One benefit of speech therapy that is less known is that it enhances the ability to swallow. And why is this important for your loved ones? This is because mature adults tend to have a decreased capacity to swallow due to age-related muscular weakness. What this means is it can raise the risk of choking on food, which is dangerous. Speech therapy can enhance their swallowing reflex and boost comfort and safety during meals. How does it happen? By strengthening their vocal cords, larynx, and jaw muscles. Thus, speech therapy is extremely beneficial for your loved ones.