The prevalence of dysphagia (inability to swallow effectively) and communication disorders in aged-care is significant and, given our ageing population, these concerns are on the rise. It is estimated that "by 2050 one third of the world's population is expected to be over 60yrs of age and 10-30% of adults are likely to have dysphagia". (Speech Pathology Australia Dysphagia Clinical Guidelines, 2013).
The Team at Communicate Speech Pathology are committed to increasing the awareness around swallowing and communication disorders in aged-care and take a best-practice approach to intervention in these areas. The therapists conduct regular in-services for nursing and kitchen staff and spend a considerable amount of time with every client, documenting specific recommendations and management plans and following up on these recommendations to ensure the patient remains comfortable and safe.
Here are some of the services the therapists at Communicate continue to provide to aged-care facilities:
- Individual Dysphagia Assessment and Management;
- Individual Communication Assessment and Therapy;
- Staff Training for Dysphagia Management and Improving Functional Communication;
- Volunteers and/or Carers Training for Facilitating Safe Feeding and Effective Communication; and
- Group therapy for language (e.g. in dementia or post-stroke) and oro-motor development.