Verbal communication is such a basic part of our everyday experience that it’s hard to imagine life without it. We rely on our ability to talk for so many things, and we need it to stay connected with family and friends.
When you lose the ability to express how you feel and what you want, your quality of life is severely impacted—it becomes easy to feel distanced from those around you.
This is the case for many stroke patients, who unexpectedly find themselves unable to communicate their needs and desires, and unable to make sense of the world around them. This is why it’s so important that a stroke recovery plan includes speech therapy provided by a certified, experienced and compassionate provider.
How Does a Stroke Impact Speech?
Strokes affect the way we communicate in a number of significant ways. Not only do they impair a patient’s ability to retrieve and produce speech, they affect their ability to understand and process what others are saying.
Strokes can also have an oversized effect on a patient’s mood and emotions—making it even more difficult to communicate, and all the more frustrating to those struggling to recover.
How Can a Speech Therapist Help?
Speech therapists offer help in a number of ways:
- They help patients retrieve words.
- They work with patients to regain control of facial muscles, and relearn to form speech.
- They help patients overcome swallowing deficiencies.
But speech therapists do more than just help patients relearn how to talk. They provide another important service: support. Recovery can be frustrating, and a very personal experience. A good speech therapist will help patients find ways to cope with setbacks and frustrations along their path to recovery, while providing the emotional support to help them succeed.
The Recovery Process
At West Ridge, speech therapists begin by diagnosing speech and swallowing deficiencies. Afterwards, the therapist works with patients to develop individualized treatment plans and set realistic, attainable goals to measure progress.
Treatment can take a variety of forms, but it usually involves guiding patients through exercises and games to practice speech retrieval and forming words; role playing social situations like ordering off a menu at a restaurant; and communicating feelings. Singing can also play an important role in recovery, and is a fun exercise that gives patients an outlet to express themselves.
The West Ridge Difference
At West Ridge, treatment extends beyond tending to the immediate physical needs of the patient—our holistic approach to senior care also takes into account the emotional and social needs of patients in a respectful way that preserves dignity, enhances confidence and encourages them to make their own decisions.To schedule a tour of our facilities, or to meet with our staff visit our contact page.