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Overcoming Communication Issues with Speech Therapy

POSTED BY: Judi Erickson, Florida Hospital Home Care

National Speech and Therapy Month, provides opportunities to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing.

Just take a look at Jesse Nester’s story…

 Jesse Nester, 84-year-old patient with Florida Hospital Home Care Services is now able to communicate once again thanks to Paula Shirek, Speech/Language Pathologist.

 After a total of three strokes in only three years, Jesse developed dysphasia, the inability to swallow regular food and drinks. Paula used techniques such as Vital Stimulation and thermal stimulation to trigger the swallow reflex. Oropharyngeal exercises were provided to strengthen the swallowing muscles.

In addition to dysphasia, Jesse exhibited communication and reasoning difficulties. Jesse, knew what he wanted to say, but could not get the words out. He was no longer able to associate the names of his church friends and could not help with household chores. His loss of the ability to communicate had a big impact on his ability to be independent in his everyday living environment.

Speech therapy focuses on treatment and the development of strategies to improve word finding, orientation, organization and short term memory skills. These include the use of visual and verbal cues. It only took Jesse two weeks of therapy with Florida Hospital Home Care to regain his ability to perform his daily chores and activities of daily living. He is now able to participate in meaningful conversations.

Through all the course of his recovery his wife of 57 years, Helen Nester, took on the role of care giver with the assistance of Paula. Helen assisted with medication management and also ensured that her husband completed his daily cognitive exercises that would eventually result in maximum recovery.

“We are very blessed,” said Jesse. “The Lord has been good to us, and Paula has become a part of our family.”

For more information on Florida Hospital Home Care Services or referrals call 407.691.8202.