Restoring communication – Speech Therapy at Home
Speech Therapy – Home Health is a wonderful solution for many people who have suffered an illness or injury and upon returning home from a stay at the hospital or skilled nursing facility, are experiencing difficulties. Help can be provided in their home by nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work and speech therapy to address a variety of needs including: balance, strength, wound care, caregiver/patient education, and monitoring of their illness or unstable medical conditions.
Speech therapy is one area of home health that is often overlooked and underutilized. Skilled speech therapy can be provided for difficulties with communication, cognition and swallowing. When speech intervention is necessary it means that one of the most essential human functions is compromised. What could be more important than restoring a means of communication, and the ability to think and eat?
Speech-Language Pathologists are trained professionals with the ability to improve or restore function in these areas. All Speech-Language Pathologists must have a Master’s degree and state licensure and most hold clinical certification (CCC) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
Speech Therapy can help people suffering from a variety of symptoms including:
- Eating Difficulties: chewing food, initiating the swallow, coughing or choking after swallowing.
- Cognitive Difficulties: impaired memory, decreased attention, planning and problem solving.
- Language: word-finding difficulties, comprehension, reading and writing.
- Voice: struggling with volume, breath support for speech, resonance.
Deficiencies in one or more of these areas may negatively impact the following tasks that are crucial to everyday living: schedule management, finances/bill paying, eating your favorite foods, talking on the phone, following a recipe for cooking, finding a new location/following directions, managing medications, making a grocery list, getting back into the workplace, ordering at your favorite restaurant and holding conversations with friends and family.
Gaining the support of a Speech Therapist allows you or your loved one to target goals in specific areas of need so that you can get back to doing the everyday essentials of living as well as many activities you enjoy. If you believe that you may benefit from support in one or more of these areas, contact your physician about a referral to speech therapy. There’s no need to struggle with these things when help is available.
by Amy Bartoo, Account Executive – North Idaho Home Health
Amy Bartoo is a Coeur d’Alene native. In 1991, she became the Executive Director of Idaho Drug Free Youth and worked as a Prevention Specialist, being recognized as the 2010 recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer of the Year award for inspiring teens to resist drugs and alcohol. Upon retirement from IDFY in 2011, Amy joined the team at North Idaho Home Health as a marketing Account Executive. She and her husband Gary have a 21-year-old son, Trey, four gorgeous grandchildren and a two year old Great Dane, Digby.