5 Health-Related Issues That Make Communication Difficult

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Health Issues and Poor Senior Communication

Any disorder that affects hearing, speech generation, and speech understanding can make it difficult for seniors to communicate with their caregivers and family. Local Fairfield home care experts review five common conditions that can impair communication.

1. Strokes
Strokes cause damage to isolated parts of the brain, and approximately 
25% of stroke victims develop aphasia, a disorder characterized by trouble understanding and producing speech. Aphasia symptoms vary by senior, and some seniors might understand spoken language but struggle to speak. Others struggle to understand, but are able to speak clearly. Speech therapy, post-stroke home care, and adaptive devices can be helpful for stroke survivors struggling with aphasia.

2. Dementia
Some estimates suggest that around
one-third of all seniors will develop some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease which is progressive and incurable. As the disease begins to affect the parts of the brain responsible for understanding and speech production, communication difficulties often arise.

3. Parkinson’s Disease
1 million Americans are currently living with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease progressively damages the part of the brain that controls the muscles necessary to produce speech. In later stages of the disease, speech can become unintelligible.

4. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is usually diagnosed in the 
mid-50s to 60s. As the disease progresses, victims experience increased difficulty in producing speech due to muscle atrophy.

5. Hearing Loss
Around one-third of people older than 60 have some hearing loss. That figure rises to one-half by age 80. Hearing loss can make it difficult for seniors to understand the speech of others. A variety of hearing aids and adaptive devices are available for treating hearing loss. Unfortunately, many cases of hearing loss are overlooked and therefore not treated. 

For more information on senior health, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Fairfield today. We are a trusted provider of live-in and hourly senior care in Fairfield with highly trained and compassionate caregivers available to help with a wide variety of care needs. To learn more, call 203-955-1915 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.


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