When is it Time to Seek Speech Therapy?
If you’ve suffered a brain injury, stroke or fall, you might find that it’s a little bit harder to speak than it was before. Or, perhaps you’re in perfect health but you’re getting older and are having trouble chewing and swallowing. In either case, speech therapy can be a wonderful tool for regaining your independence and ability to communicate effectively with doctors, family, and friends.
Choosing to participate in speech therapy is a personal choice, and the decision isn’t always an easy one. However, admitting you need help is nothing to be ashamed of. The aging process has many effects on the body, and this often includes one’s ability to speak. As you get older, your vocal cords become less elastic and your larynx muscles may weaken. This can make it hard to talk in a manner you’re used to. That’s where speech therapy comes in. A speech language pathologist can help you relearn how to talk using vocal exercises, muscle retraining, compensatory strategies, and use of communication devices.
When to seek help
At Bella Vista Health Center, our speech therapy program is designed around an individual plan of care that addresses your specific needs. While everyone is different, there are a few telltale signs it’s time to seek the help of a speech therapist. You may need to consider speech therapy if you or a loved one:
- Has difficulty requesting items and answering questions spontaneously
- Has trouble swallowing food or water and often coughs before, during or after
- Experiences a change in the pitch, volume, or quality of his or her voice
- Struggles with normal speech flow due to frequent repetition or prolongation of speech sounds, syllables or words
- Has difficulty putting words together to express him or herself in an appropriate manner
- Has trouble saying words correctly to the point that listeners can’t understand what is being said
- Experiences problems remembering words and/or has completely lost his or her ability to speak, read, or write
- Experiences problems remembering things, paying attention, or solving problems
Once you’ve decided to seek the help of a speech therapist, the first thing he or she will do is complete an evaluation. At this appointment, your therapist will perform some basic tests to determine the problem and how to address it. He or she will also talk to you about your goals for regaining your speaking abilities and how you can work together to achieve them.
We’re here for you
If you or a loved is having difficulty communicating, the best thing you can do is seek the help of a professional. At Bella Vista Health Care, our speech therapy program offers a careful balance of treatment, support, and care for those who have difficulties with speaking, cognition, coordinated muscular movements, and swallowing.
Are you in the San Diego area and looking for a safe and comfortable setting where you can recover and rehabilitate? Give us a call to schedule a tour of our 5-star nursing facility in Lemon Grove today. Once you meet our professional and friendly staff, we think you’ll feel right at home.