A senior woman sits at home at the coffee table with a speech therapist

Five benefits of doing speech therapy at home

 

If you’ve recently had an extended hospital stay, you’re probably not too keen to go right back to the hospital for any sort of rehabilitative therapy. That’s understandable: An overwhelming majority of seniors say their number one goal after a hospital stay is to return home and stay home.

Yet when it comes to speech problems in the elderly – which may have been caused by a stroke, a serious bout of pneumonia or dementia – doctors refer their patients to speech therapy, a service that you used to only have access to at an in-person rehabilitation center. With in-home speech therapy now readily available, improvements can be made in the comforts of home.

 

What is speech therapy for elderly?

Most people think speech therapists are only for children who have common speech impairments. But the reality is, speech problems in the elderly are becoming increasingly more common as the American population ages. Because of that increase, speech therapy exercises for the edlerly are necessary.

Because of their extensive training and experience, speech therapists can help differentiate between normal aging and a communication disorder or swallowing impairment. They can also prevent these speech problems in the elderly by promoting a healthy lifestyle and educating older adults on how to prevent stroke and other disorders that can lead to speech problems.

 

Why at-home speech therapy?

You remember that old movie line, “There’s no place like home.” It certainly applies to where you’d probably feel most comfortable receiving therapy. Your home is familiar, private and comfortable. But that’s not the only benefit:

Your home is functionally relevant. All your everyday objects are there, which can be integrated into your speech therapy. Perhaps you need therapy for dysphagia, which is trouble with swallowing. Your personal silverware spoon may be two times bigger than a plastic spoon used at in-patient rehabilitation. A speech therapist can use your actual spoon to help you accurately relearn to swallow using utensils you’ll actually be using.

Your home is much more convenient for you and your caregiver. If you’re unable to drive to an outpatient clinic, you’ll need to arrange transportation and account for travel time. If your ride is also your caregiver, you’re both spending time waiting for your appointment. When your speech therapist comes to you, there’s no wasted time spent waiting. And, your caregiver can more easily be at your house to observe and participate in therapy sessions.

Stress and fatigue are reduced, and your session time is increased. Instead of exhausting yourself getting ready for your appointment, getting in and out of the car, and waiting when your therapist’s appointments with other clients run late, you can get started with your therapy as soon as your therapist arrives at your door. 

You may actually be more motivated to make progress. People who chose at-home speech therapy report they’re more satisfied with their overall quality of life. Often, this group is also quicker to regain independence and perform personal and household tasks than those who received therapy at a rehabilitation center.

Your immune system is safer at home. If you’re receiving speech therapy due to a serious bout with pneumonia, you definitely don’t want to come in contact with the flu, bronchitis or other highly communicable infection that affects the lungs. And with the recent coronavirus pandemic, you’re better off at home instead of exposing yourself to others at a hospital or clinic.

One final note: You need a doctor’s order to receive speech therapy. This is the time where you’ll want to have a conversation with your doctor to decide if at-home speech therapy is a good fit for you, your needs and your treatment goals. You may not even know whether there’s an in-home option near you. If you live in or near Basking Ridge, New Jersey, there’s a great option available for you.

 

Learn more about Fellowship Senior Living’s Therapy at Home

For residents in surrounding communities, our senior rehabilitation services — including physical, occupational and speech therapies — are available in the comfort of their homes. Licensed therapists see clients by appointment and bring with them all the equipment needed for each session. Therapy can be short term, to help people recover from an injury or surgery, or longer term to improve overall wellness.

It’s easy to learn more. Simply contact us to start the conversation at in-home speech therapy.