Senior citizens represent the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States. Unfortunately, aging can bring the increased likelihood of disorders that affect speech, language, and communication. What are some common communication disorders that can affect the elderly?
Hearing Impairment: An estimated 40% of individuals over the age of 75 experience significant hearing loss. Left untreated, this can severely impact a person’s ability to communicate effectively and connect with others.
Stroke: Stroke victims may experience impairments in both speech and language following their accident. These effects can vary in severity and may last a lifetime.
Swallowing Difficulties; Problems with swallowing can arise from a number of conditions, including neurological diseases like Parkinson’s or brain damage resulting from a stroke. Difficulty swallowing increases the person’s risk of developing aspiration pneumonia or choking while eating.
Dementia: Many senior citizens develop dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease or other age-related factors. This not only affects a person’s ability to communicate, but can create issues in their day-to-day functioning and safety.
While communication disorders associated with aging can’t be prevented entirely, the services of a speech-language pathologist, or speech therapist, can help. Speech-language pathologists are able to provide therapy in swallowing, communication, speech, and language. Improving or maintaining an individual’s ability to communicate with others can greatly increase their quality of life.
Remember: early intervention is key to recovering and maintaining communication skills. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty with speech, language, communication, or swallowing, contact us at 917-841-2965 or visit our website at www.speechassociatesofny.com and let one of our trained and certified speech-language pathologists help you communicate better and live life to the fullest.