Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative neurological disease which is more commonly observed in the elderly. It is characterized by loss of memory and the ability to perform various everyday tasks. As far as the treatment of Alzheimer’s is concerned, no medicinal advancements have been made to correct or reverse the disease. However the therapeutic management includes improving the behavioral symptoms and level of cognition and conversation.
The Significance of Speech Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease
The main goal of the speech-language pathology in Alzheimer’s is to improve the loss of functions and to help the patient cope up with their disease so that they can live an independent life and effectively manage their symptoms. The therapy includes working on problems related to memory loss and cognition and therefore it would be unjust to say that the entire role of speech-language therapy in Alzheimer’s is to treat speech and language related difficulties. In this way, the therapy works to stimulate the brain in order to facilitate language, conversational, memory and cognitive skills and all these efforts have been proven effective and beneficial according to the latest research.
How Does Speech-language Therapy Aid in Alzheimer’s?
The major problems that are most commonly observed in Alzheimer’s patients are all related to memory loss. Such individuals possess a sense of isolation due to which they tend to avoid social gatherings because of the fear that they may not remember stuff. Furthermore, they are also anxious and develop negative feelings because of the firm belief that they do not have a purpose in life. All of these behavioural changes are efficiently addressed by a speech-language therapy as it not only focuses on the patient but also includes family members to make the good memories last forever.
One of the most important yet underestimated advantages if speech therapy is its role in facilitating swallowing; an ability which is gradually lost as the speech progresses. Professionals at Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic work effectively on this problem because if left untreated it can lead to weight loss and even death due to choking.
Appropriate speech therapy has also been seen to slow progression of the disease and to improve the overall wellbeing of the patient.