Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Speech Therapy: Can It Help Stroke Victims?

Strokes occur when the blood flow to the brain is cut off, either from a blood clot or the rupture of a blood vessel. When this happens, the brain cells that are deprived of oxygen and other nutrients delivered by the blood die. In many cases, this results in speech impairment for stroke victims. Home care professionals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, know that restoring speech is not an easy task for many seniors who have suffered from a stroke; however, speech therapy can assist them in regaining their ability to communicate verbally.

Finding the Right Form of Therapy
Like all therapeutic fields, you may find that the practice of speech therapy can be performed following different philosophies. For instance, some professionals believe that short yet intensive sessions are more effective than traditional ones. Additionally, the way in which professionals approach the actual exercises conducted throughout a session can vary. For this reason, the first step toward recovering the communication capabilities of your senior is to find the right therapist for the job. Your loved one's physician should be able to recommend a therapist who can help your senior achieve their verbal communication goals.

Understanding the Nature of the Process
Ultimately, speech therapy can work; however, the extent to which it can restore your loved one's speaking capabilities will be determined by how much damage the stroke caused to their brain. As such, it is important that your family makes small, realistic goals while your senior is going through the therapeutic process. By expecting too much out of the therapy, you could discourage your senior and cause them to become frustrated, angry, or bitter. The best approach is to celebrate each success and move one step at a time in terms of goal-setting.

Understand the Difference between Short-Term and Long-Term Success
Therapy will, essentially, help restore the ability of your loved one to speak. This entails a great deal of work regarding the rebuilding of damaged brain tissue. The brain is a flexible, adaptable organ, to be sure, but it is not always possible to completely restore speaking abilities if a stroke has caused too much destruction. For this reason, it is important to maintain clear communication with your loved one's therapist regarding their progress.

1 comment:

  1. Very educational and beneficial to patients and their families. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to ElderCare!