As a person ages, he starts facing problems with speech and language. This is a natural process but the elderly person might get depressed, feel isolated or end up losing what little independence he has leading to further emotional problems. That is why geriatric speech therapy plays a vital role not just for the elderly person but also for the family.
Geriatric speech therapy helps the elderly person to communicate effectively with his family and other people around him.
As a person ages, his vocal cords tend to lose their elasticity and they become thinner. In addition, the muscles of the larynx become weak. That is why we see elderly people having quieter voices with tremors when they speak. Speech in elderly people becomes slower, the stress patterns and intonation become abnormal and understanding them can be quite difficult due to bad articulation. Just because their speech gets impaired, family members start thinking that elderly relatives also have last their ability to understand language. However, this is not true.
Geriatric speech therapy involves focusing on pronunciation and articulation. The patient will be given simple exercises to improve the speech patterns. And that is where family comes in. The elderly patient might forget to do these simple exercises and it is up to the family members to help the person. In addition, you will be asked by the doctor to keep an eye out for language comprehension and speech repetition. If you notice that the person is only reproducing language rather than understanding and talking, you should immediately bring it to the notice of the speech therapist, who may then order some neurological tests.
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