What Is Aphasia and How Can Speech Therapy Help?
Aphasia, or the inability to communicate, is a common problem among older adults, often occurring after a stroke or other acute medical condition. But what is it exactly and how can speech therapists for aphasia help overcome it?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines aphasia as “an acquired neurogenic language disorder resulting from an injury to the brain—most typically, the left hemisphere.” Aphasia typically affects a person’s ability to communicate, with different degrees of impairment:
- Spoken language expression (expressive aphasia)
- Spoken language comprehension (receptive aphasia)
Depending on how serious the issue is, it may cause a complete inability to communicate. The ability to communicate, however, does not affect a person’s memory or other cognitive skills.
Rehabilitation services like speech therapy can help victims regain some communication abilities, as well as learn new ones. Speech therapists for aphasia can also help teach non-verbal communication skills, and help family members adapt to new forms of communication.
Impairment-based Speech Therapy for Aphasia
The goal of impairment-based therapies is to improve language functions. This involves stimulating speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
Those dealing with aphasia always want to regain the ability to speak as well as be able to understand what other people are saying. Therefore, speech therapists for aphasia work to repair what is broken.
Therapy will focus on tasks that promote both speech and comprehension. The basic ways we use our language, as well as exercising the ways our mouths produce sounds and words, is a primary focus. These tasks may be supplemented with homework that can be guided by caregivers or even computer programs.
Communication-based Speech Therapy for Aphasia
Communication-based speech therapy is designed to enable communication by any means and encourage support from caregivers. These treatments are meant to assist the person with aphasia in learning how to convey feelings and messages in new ways. They often consist of more natural interactions involving real-life challenges to communication.
Methods are sometimes called social approaches because of their emphasis on returning to former interactions. These methods use day-to-day communication challenges to teach new ways of communicating. This also encourages the person with aphasia to think about how he or she can adapt to sudden communication challenges.
Senior LIFE Speech Therapists for Aphasia
If you or a loved one are enrolled in Senior LIFE, all rehabilitation therapies are included through the program, including speech therapists for aphasia, along with occupational and physical therapists. There is no limit to the amount of therapy services a member can receive, and there’s no cost or copay.
If you’re enrolled in a managed care organization, you likely know that this is significantly different than what you experience through the MCO, where you often pay copays and face limits on the amount of services you can receive.
Senior LIFE speech therapists for aphasia provide the ongoing assistance you need right at the Senior LIFE center in your community, close to home. We even provide transportation to and from your therapy sessions at the local LIFE Health and Wellness Center. It’s a personalized level of service you can expect.
Senior LIFE provides medically necessary support services that are designed to keep older adults at home longer and not in a nursing home. Contact your nearest Senior LIFE center to find out about speech therapists for aphasia and other quality services they can provide.
Categories: Wellness Matters