Submissions from Readers

Speech Therapy

by catherine gutterson
(bordentown nj)

Question:My father had a stroke 2 weeks ago. He is currently in a rehab center and is making progress, but he is hating the place with a passion because of the speech therapy portion that is making him frustrated and feel humiliated. He is feeling hopeless and depressed which he shouldn't because he is doing well with the other 2 therapies, physical and occupational, thank our lucky stars. He's not interested in eating and no longer smiles when you enter the room. He just wants to come home, and he is mixing his days up and saying things that just didn't happen as if he's hallucinating. Can speech therapy be given at home? I believe the stoke hurt him cognitively. Is that something that can be overcome at home with time. I want to blame the environment and not being home because he has always been independent at 83 and up and on the go, and this is keeping him bored and restless especially at night, He's a bad boy for the nurses. Your insight and help is greatly appreciated.

Answer: Speech therapy as well as the other two therapies can be given at home. Your dad may do better at home in familiar and comfortable surroundings, but taking him home does not necessarily mean his cognition will improve. Only time will tell. Cognitive changes may be a result of the stroke, but these changes can also occur because of medicines or lack of sleep. Sometimes, elderly patients that have dementia, even if just a slight dementia, will become more confused when removed from their home and put in a new situation. I can't tell you whether your father will do better at home or not, but you definitely can have home health therapists come to see him. The only disadvantage to home health this early in his stroke recovery is that they only come out 2 or 3 times a week usually for 30-45 minutes. In an inpatient rehabilitation facility, patients will be seen several hours per day at least 5 days a week. Inpatient rehabilitation usually only lasts a few weeks for stroke patients so I would try to take advantage of the more frequent/intense therapy as long as possible.

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