A Speech disorder is a common challenge faced by most households. It could be a congenital problem with kids, heredity, or as a result of some physical or psychological ailments. Although several treatment options are available through modern science and technology to get rid of speech impediments in the clinics, adding the flexibility of home health speech therapy can go a long way in helping patients with the problem.
Speech therapists are professionals who provide essential language and communication rehabilitative services. There is speech therapist who provides in-home services for patients who are not comfortable with the hospital environment. In fact, the role of speech therapy in home health care cannot be overemphasized as it enables people suffering from some inborn speech impediments or specific disorders that hinder their natural ability to formulate sound and coherent words to get quality treatment right in their homes. Speech therapy at home also helps patients to enhance their verbal and written expressions, auditory processing skills, sensory and reading comprehension levels, attention spans, memories, as well as improves their problem solving and organizational skills while they still dwell among their family and friends.
Due to the essential job of speech therapists in helping people to overcome their communicative limitations, which may span over several years, they often work in homes with their patients. More importantly, home services make it easier for speech therapists to administer drugs to their patients, given the comprehensive and step-by-step treatment procedures needed to improve speech and communicative disorders. Often, the speech therapy lessons and simple exercises administered work better when patients are in their homes with their family members or professional caregivers around them.
Although most people may have heard about speech therapists, not everyone is aware of the essential roles these professionals are playing in home health care. In this article, we will provide you the basic understanding of the jobs of speech therapists and the essential roles of speech therapy in home health care. So, brace yourself and read on as we provide you everything you need to know about home health speech therapy. Now let’s get started with the basics!
What Is Speech Therapy and Who Provides It?
In its broad sense, speech therapy is a rehabilitative process of correcting communication, cognition and swallowing disorders. Speech therapy involves the process of restoring communication or speech impediments. Home health speech therapy offers a more robust opportunity for professionals to help people with speech impairments or disorder right in the comfort of their home.
Of course, communication and eating are essential to human functions and survival. Speech therapists are trained professionals with the expertise to improve or restore function in these defective areas. Necessary qualification required to become a professional in-home speech therapist include a Master’s degree in speech pathology and state licensure. They are also needed to acquire a clinical certification (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to serve as an endorsement for their expertise.
After several years of training, speech therapist develops capacities to effectively treat patients with speech problems as well as develop skills to create strategies for communicating effectively with patients who have impaired cognition. The job of a speech therapist covers a wide range of areas, some of which may include the following:
- Helping to improve patient’s learning disabilities
- Treatment of aural (hearing) challenges
- Assessing sensory skills
- Evaluation of cognitive skills
- Conducting and supervising speech articulation exercises on patients
- Guiding and helping patients with the use of adaptive speech devices
- The teaching of non-oral communication
- Educating the patients and their parents on communicative disorders
- Helping patients and parents to manage autism disorder
- Evaluations and treatment of Swallowing problems
- Promotion of memory skills
- Improving speech and language delay
Causes of Speech Disorder or Impediment
There are several reasons why people have a speech disorder or speech impairment. Speech impediment could result from a congenital, hereditary, physical or psychological problem. It may affect the vocal cords, muscles, nerves, and other structures within the throat. Some of the causes of speech disorder may include but not limited to the following: vocal cord damage, brain damage, muscle weakness, respiratory weakness, strokes, polyps or nodules on the vocal cords, and vocal cord paralysis. People may also suffer speech disorder due to certain medical or developmental conditions. Some of the medical conditions that can lead to speech disorders are autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, Huntington’s disease, dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Speech disorders may also be hereditary and they can develop over an extended period.
What Are the Symptoms of Speech Disorder?
The symptoms of speech disorder may depend on the causes. Often, several symptoms may be present. Here are a few symptoms usually experienced by people who suffer from speech disorders:
- Repetition of sounds. This is most common with people who stutter.
- Adding extra sounds and words for emphasis.
- Elongation of words.
- Making jerky movements while talking. This usually involves the head.
- Blinking several times while talking.
- Visible frustration when trying to communicate.
- Pausing frequently when talking.
- Distorted sounds when talking.
- Hoarseness or speaking with a rough sounding voice.
The job of a speech therapist involves helping the patient to improve capacities in areas where there are defections. Some of the areas where home health speech therapy is often required include articulation, voice correction, resonance, language services, alternative means of communication, swallowing functions, and cognitive-communicative services.
Can Effective Speech Therapy Be Provided at Home?
The need for a home health speech therapy may arise from an illness, disease, hereditary, or accident. Notwithstanding of the cause, speech therapy can be provided at home. People in the recovery stage, who no longer need frequent medical attention in the hospitals, may need to seek home health speech therapy. Of course, speech and language pathologists can provide most of their services in-home.
Speech disorder may linger for months or even years after recovery from the initial ailments. This may require that patients remain in hospital’s admission or opt-in for the outpatient option. However, it is not always convenient for patients, who are homebound, to stay in the hospital’s unfamiliar and unfriendly environment for speech impediment treatment alone. On the other hand, patients may not have enough resources to cover for the transportation required to travel to and from the hospital to enjoy the outpatient service facilities. This is why home health speech therapy is highly essential in the treatment of speech impairments.
Sure, it is possible to receive high quality, evidence-based speech therapy right in your residence. The benefits of receiving speech therapy at home are enormous. We will share a few of these benefits with you below.
The Benefits of In-Home Speech Therapy
The benefits of speech therapy in home health care are endless. Naturally, people feel more comfortable with home therapy since they can enjoy the company of their family and friends as well as have everything they need within their reach while within their homes. To be more specific, home health speech therapy is essential in the following ways:
- Collaboration with Informed Caregivers
Many homes already have well-informed caregivers. A speech pathologist can work hand in hand with these professional caregivers or family members to deliver speech therapy at home conveniently. The caregiver or family members are trained or counseled about the techniques used by the therapist. With such arrangement, the speech therapy can just come in once every week while the caregiver and family members help the patients to practice the techniques for the rest of the week. Family members and the professional caregiver are always with the patients. Hence, they are in the best position to keep the patient happy and encourage them to use the administered techniques throughout the week. Practicing every day will help increase the intensity of the therapy and improve the outcomes for the patient.
- Personally Relevant Materials
One more reason why the home health speech therapy is so essential is that the approach allows the patient to continue using personal items during the treatment. For instance, in the case of language or memory therapy, seeing family pictures or photo albums can speed up the healing process. In any case of speech impediment, the speech pathologist can use the patient’s items in the treatment process. This approach can help increase the therapeutic effects of the treatment techniques on them as a patient’s items can help promote their well-being.
- Less Stress and Energy Expenditure
The recovery process is not always easy for most patients. They often experience fatigue and may not be physically active enough to handle the demands require of outpatients. Home health speech therapy can help reduce the burden of the travel time and other physical applications regular visitations would have on the patient. Instead, the energy can be invested into a meaningful therapy session. It is easier for the speech therapist to make weekly visitation to the home rather than the patients going through the rigors of transportation needs.
- Opportunity to Hire Experience Speech Therapy
Aside from the above-listed factors, there are other reasons why patients prefer home health speech therapy. One important reason people seek in-home speech pathologist is the opportunity it gives them to hire the best hands in town. Speech therapy in home health care enhances patient’s experience as well as improves the overall outcomes through quality one-on-one sessions.
- Specialized Attention for Children with Impaired Speech
It is common to see children who suffer from speech disorders. Many of the cases may result from the congenital, developmental, or hereditary condition. Home health speech therapy also benefits children with speech disorder. A speech therapist can intervene in children’s speech development through in-home services and help them to rehabilitate their speech impediments or impaired cognition.
No doubt, home health speech therapy can help solve travel problem as well as guarantees treatment in a familiar environment. Receiving in-home speech therapy lessons and simple exercise instructions in your residence with encouragement from family and friends can go a long way to help improve your speech disorder.
In case you recognized or suspected symptoms of speech disorder with you or any member of your family, and you’re looking for a professional speech and language pathologist to help you remedy the situation, contact Essential Healthcare Staffing today for all the guidance and advice you may need to hire the best in-house speech therapist. Whether you’re in need of temporary or permanent bay area speech therapy, Essential HCS can step in and help you to get the right professional for your loved ones immediately? Essential HCS handles the relationship between you and the most qualified clinicians. We help you to streamline the treatment process by creating functional connections that guarantee a meaningful outcome for patients and their families.