Understanding how aging can affect the ability to communicate

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Posted on Tuesday May 9th, 2017

As we age, normal changes occur that can affect our speech, hearing and memory. Vocal chords can become less elastic and larynx muscles can weaken, making it more difficult to communicate vocally. Changes in ear and nerve function gradually affects the ability to understand others and to react to auditory cues, such as smoke alarms and traffic.

In addition to age-related issues, disease, accidents, medications, strokes, and progressive disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s can significantly affect the ability to communicate.

Losing communication abilities can affect health and safety, make it hard to enjoy interacting with family and friends and can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation.

Here are some common signs of problems that speech therapy can address:

At Lutheran Life Villages, our speech therapists (also called speech-language pathologists) are trained to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, and cognitive communication, hearing and swallowing disorders.

Speech therapy is available to people of all ages as part of our regionally recognized, multi-discipline rehabilitation program provided for both inpatients and outpatients at three of our campuses—The Village at Pine Valley, The Village at Kendallville and The Village at Anthony Boulevard.

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