What Effect Can Aging Have on Communication?

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

–          Samuel Ullman

Everyone ages differently. And while there are countless good things that come with growing older, such as possessing greater life wisdom and experience, or having more time to pursue hobbies and interests, it is relatively common to experience some level of decline in certain areas. Skills such as memory and attention, that are associated with communication, are often affected. Alzheimer’s Disease is an example of a condition that is often associated with aging that can also lead to a decline in the ability to communicate.

Of course, the impact of aging can extend beyond the neurological and into the physical realm as well. Swallowing can be affected as the muscles involved with this process become less efficient. The loss of teeth or the acquisition of dentures may affect swallowing and can also impact speech.

Fortunately, there is help at hand for people experiencing these and other communication-related problems. Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to assess and treat communication difficulties, as well as swallowing challenges that may be associated with aging. At S.L. Hunter & Associates, the team works with people of all ages and at all stages of life to help them improve and overcome communication, swallowing and speech challenges. Early intervention is always best when a problem arises to address concerns and provide possible strategies. If you or someone you know is struggling to make themselves understood, consider calling a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

Speech-Language Pathology Help for Communication Disorders Caused by Acquired Brain Injury

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.

– Bernice Johnson Reagon

There’s no doubt that people who experience an acquired brain injury (ABI) are often faced with challenges that others can only imagine. A trauma to the head that can be the result of a motor vehicle accident, bicycle accident, stroke, fall or sports related injury. These injuries can result in brain damage; damage that sometimes results in difficulty understanding and interpreting information, processing thoughts, retaining memories and communicating.

 

Fortunately, help is available. Speech-Language Pathologists (sometimes referred to as Speech Pathologists or Speech Therapists) are individuals highly trained to provide assessment and treatment for a variety of communication disorders, including those associated with an ABI.

 

Following an assessment, the Speech-Language Pathologist will determine goals and therapy targets that will assist that individual in relearning, regaining, modifying or compensating for impacted skills. Tailoring each therapy approach to the individual needs of the client is essential. Some people work best with paper/pen tasks while other progress more quickly through focused conversation or casual interactive activities; all methods are then reinforced within the context of real life activities.

 

Whatever the approach, at S.L. Hunter & Associates, the Speech-Language Pathologists work hard to establish an excellent rapport with each one of their clients, so that everyone feels supported and safe. In this relaxed, positive environment, the person with the communication challenges is encouraged to express their concerns, assist in developing achievable goals, practice new skills and celebrate successes.

 

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

 

Cognitive-Communication Problems That Can Result from Acquired Brain Injury

“Through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and fight restored.”

– Helen Keller

Helen Keller knew a thing or two about suffering. Born deaf-blind, she overcame enormous physical and emotional challenges to become an author, activist and inspirational lecturer. Her wisdom and insight offer hope for those who battle to overcome challenges of all kinds, including those that come with an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Attention, memory, organizational skills, self-awareness; these are just some of the abilities that can be impacted in a person with an ABI. The more serious the injury, the more likely it is the individual will experience multiple challenges, which can have an impact on their life in a variety of significant ways.

One of the first things likely to be affected is an individual’s self-confidence. Suddenly, they may find themselves unable to do a whole range of tasks that were previously a part of normal, day-to-day routines. Their roles – as spouse, employee, parent, friend and more – are interrupted. They may be unable to complete duties as well or as efficiently as they did in the past, leading to frustration, stress and diminished self-esteem.

Fortunately, there is always hope for improvement. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly skilled individuals who are trained to assess and treat many of the problems associated with ABI.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, the clinicians are equipped with up-to-date technology and resources to help people who’ve suffered such an injury. First, they conduct a comprehensive assessment of the client, using formal and/or informal assessment tools to evaluate skills such as listening, comprehension, social communication, insight and awareness. Next, they create a unique treatment plan designed to rebuild, reroute or reorganize affected connections within the brain and to provide appropriate strategies to enable the client to successfully deal with challenges that may arise.

If you or someone you know has experienced an acquired brain injury, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area to arrange for an assessment.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

Common Causes of Acquired Brain Injury

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

– Helen Keller

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain that occurs after birth. It is not related to a developmental disability or congenital disorders (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Down syndrome), nor to diseases (such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease), which can progressively damage the brain.

A brain injury can happen suddenly. The most common causes of ABI today are motor vehicle accidents, strokes, falls, sports-related concussions, bicycle accidents and strangulation.

An ABI will impact each individual in different ways as there are so many skills governed by the human brain. Some may experience organization and planning difficulties for example, while others may have problems with attention or memory, or struggle to formulate their thoughts into words.

While it’s never good news when ABI occurs, there is the potential for improvement and to return to many daily life activities. Within the first two years after an injury, the human brain works hard to heal itself, so therapy during this time can be particularly beneficial. But even if therapy has been delayed beyond the two-year mark, improvement continues to be possible with the right strategies.

S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly-skilled, duly qualified and caring Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants who are trained to help people with ABI. They provide assessment and intervention sessions – in a variety of settings – tailored to the needs of each client.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

It’s Never Too Late for Speech-Language Pathology Help

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

– George Eliot

You can be too late for appointments and too late for work, too late to take up a challenging hobby and even too late for dinner. But it’s never too late to seek help from a speech-language pathologist for yourself or your child.

Any person who has a communication disability or difficulty will benefit from the strategies, skills and support that a Speech-Language Pathologist can provide through an intervention session.

Language delays and difficulties are common in young children and many disappear as the child develops, but most language disorders benefit greatly from early intervention. Since speech problems may inhibit socialization and learning, children who experience speech or language disorders will benefit from early intervention in other ways as well.

When it comes to adults, weeks, months or even years of frustration and embarrassment can be avoided by starting treatment early for speech or language problems that arise as a result of disease, disability or accident, such as stroke or brain injury.

A Speech-Language Pathologists will assess each individual who presents with a communication problem, to clearly determine the nature of the difficulty, create a personal treatment plan and then work with the individual to offer them techniques and strategies, which can be incorporated into day-to-day life.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, we feel that every person that struggles can make gains given the right approach. Our clinicians are client-centered and emphasize functional activities so that therapy is related to the client’s life rather than removed or abstract. While total cure may not always be possible, with time and commitment, improvement usually is.

If you or someone you know has a communication-related concern, don’t delay. Consult a Speech-Language Pathologists in your area.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.