Seniors represent the fastest growing segment of our population, expected to make up one quarter of the country's population. Many of these individuals are significantly affected by communication disorders and experience problems with their speech, language, swallowing and hearing. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic disability among older adults and 6-12% of seniors experience speech, language or voice difficulties.
The services of speech-language pathologists and audiologists help seniors to improve their ability to communicate which allows them to optimize their health, independence, safety, socialization and overall quality of life. Speech-language pathologists provide assessment, treatment and follow-up for: difficulties speaking or understanding, voice problems, thinking and memory problems and swallowing difficulties. Audiologists provide assessment, treatment and follow-up regarding: hearing loss, balance problems, tinnitus (noises or ringing in the ears) and related disorders.
Consumers should seek the services of a qualified professional. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are important collaborative partners in the primary health care system, working to maximize communication and, in turn, participation in the community.
Using the services of a speech-language pathologist or audiologist helps ensure seniors can continue to enjoy engaging, productive and rewarding lives. Early detection is vital. If you suspect a problem help is available online at www.speechandhearing.ca.
Courtesy of www.newscanada.com.
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