Home Health & Hospice

Don't Underestimate Value of Speech Therapy

Homecare Insider, April 2, 2012

In homecare, providers often overlook the value and importance of speech therapy. For example, patients with neurological diagnoses such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can benefit greatly from speech therapy.

Speech therapists can:
  • Evaluate swallowing, speech, and cognitive function
  • Educate the patient and caregiver on safety precautions, prevention of swallowing dysfunction, articulation proficiency, and alternative and effective communication programs
  • Assess and establish memory programs
Speech therapy’s interventions can help prevent swallowing dysfunction, reduce the risk of aspiration, aide in achieving optimum swallowing skills, and enable the patient to express his/her needs. Finally, the speech therapist can collaborate with occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing to holistically meet the patient’s needs and obtain the best clinical outcomes.
 
 Don’t overlook the importance of this member of the homecare team and the value they bring to the delivery of patient care.