May is better speech and hearing month, which means we celebrate the work of speech-language pathologists (also known as speech therapists). Speech-language pathology started as an official profession in the 1920s working to correct speech impediments and articulation difficulties, and expanded the field after many soldiers returned from World War 2 with brain injuries that caused word finding other language difficulties. Through the years the profession has grown as research about the brain has continued to grow. This includes learning about how and why we communicate, how our communication affects our everyday lives, and still expanding knowledge about various progressive neurological diseases that disrupt our communication.
Today, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with adults in a variety of areas, including language, articulation, swallowing, voice, and cognition. These areas can all be affected by strokes, brain injury, dementia, Parkinson’s, CHF, COPD, ALS, and other health issues. An SLP will do an evaluation to determine how problems in these areas are affecting someone’s life and develop a treatment plan to improve and compensate for problems in any of these areas.
Here at Goodcare AtHome we see speech language pathology as a way to help people remain independent, and focus on personalized communication and swallowing treatment. We want our clients to retain dignity and purpose as they age and work through health challenges. We work to improve the ability to communicate and/or swallow after a brain injury or stroke to help people express themselves and understand others better. We serve people diagnosed with progressive diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, and more, to develop strategies to slow the progression and compensate for deficits to allow people to maintain their way of life as much as we can. This includes helping develop personal communication boards and books, training family and staff in communication, swallowing and feeding strategies and techniques, and problem solving real situations patients face during their day to day tasks, from using a phone to finding the way to the dining room.