Australia is now becoming an ageing society thanks to the rising average lifespan and decreased birth levels. By the year 2050, There will be 36 million Australians present, including 1.8 million aged 85 years an Australia is now becoming an ageing society thanks to the rising average lifespan and decreased birth levels. By the year 2050, There will be 36 million Australians present, including 1.8 million aged 85 years and older.
With that emergence, the percentage of older Australians having speech and trouble swallowing will indeed soar.
As individuals mature their speech, the language, memory, voice as well as swallowing inevitably tends to change. Older individuals are also often more prone to have a speech or eating impairment as they are at greater risk of cardiovascular complications and/or having a condition such as dementia, Dysphagia and Parkinson’s disease.
Speech pathologists are experienced allied health professionals that evaluate, manage and treat communication disorders and issues relating to difficulty swallowing. They have the ability to with elderly individuals to further foster independence, participation and standard of living.
Tips for Communicating To Elderly With a Communication Disorder:
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the person’s speech.
- Work slowly, give extra time- particularly on complicated conversations.
- Try to communicate in person, and speak with your hands using gestures
- Encourage talking in a peaceful and supportive setting ensuring strong visibility
- Eliminate audio and visual disturbances
- Talk distinctly and hold to one subject at a time.
- To help and encourage conversation, build on their personal interests, past experiences and common topics
- Repeat, describe and/or jot down
- significant information and insight to provide the individual the chance to ask questions or request clarity
- Look closely for non – verbal signals throughout relations and communication
- Introduce effective visual aids for individuals with vision and communication disorders
Australia, S. P., 2019. Speech pathologists working with older people. [Online]
Available at: www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au