People seldom think about how much they depend on their ability to speak or hear properly until they start to diminish. It’s not unusual for elderly adults to suffer from hearing loss or speech disorders due to illness, injury, or age. Too many seniors try to hide hearing loss or speech difficulties due to embarrassment, pride, or simply not noticing any problems. That’s why it’s important for you to step in and address any issues you or a senior care provider have observed when caring for your aging relative.
Because May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, it’s an excellent time for family caregivers to assess the needs of their elderly relatives regarding how well they hear and speak. Poor communication can have a serious impact on social, educational, vocational, and recreational aspects of life. Once professionals determine the senior needs some treatment in these areas, seniors can look forward to communicating better with friends, family, and senior care providers.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss in Elderly Adults.
Half of all elderly adults over the age of 75 have experienced mild to severe hearing loss. Common causes include vestibular neuritis, presbycusis, Meniere’s disease, otitis, externa and otomycosis. With hearing loss, the elderly person often withdraws from a crowd, ignores requests or instructions from senior care providers and listens to media at loud volumes. The good news is that most hearing loss can be treated thanks to devices like hearing aids, medicine, and even surgery in some cases.
Common Causes of Speech Disorders in Elderly Adults.
Multiple factors can contribute to speech disorders in seniors. One of the most impactful may be a stroke, which can damage a person’s ability to control facial muscles that lead to speaking. Strokes can also slow down the mental speed of processing language, which can lead to communication problems. Other causes of speech issues might be poor dental health, aphasia, dysphonia, dysarthria, and more. Speech-language pathologists can work with seniors to regain as much speaking ability as possible.
How Family Caregivers Can Help Elderly Adults.
There’s no doubt that communication disorders will have a big impact on an elderly person’s physical and emotional health. It’s hard to imagine being unable to hear well or to use the voice to interact with family members, doctors, senior care providers, and friends. Family caregivers and senior care providers can help the most by getting the elderly person medical help as soon as they notice the signs and symptoms of either hearing loss or speech disorders. Medical professionals are certainly going to be able to make positive changes in the lives of seniors who are suffering.
During Better Hearing and Speech Month, many organizations champion the goal of raising awareness about communication disorders, particularly hearing and speech. Family caregivers can join the effort by educating themselves and others about common communication disorders that affect elderly adults. They can also spotlight any treatments that positively affect the lives of seniors with hearing loss or speech disorders.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Windsor, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
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