09/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/14/2020 09:16
By Kristy Wolfe, MA, CCC-SLP, Director of Therapy Operations at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Huntington
Speech language pathologists evaluate and treat disorders of communication and swallowing (dysphagia). Many complex processes within each of these domains.
The complex system of cognition intertwines with language skills and is crucial in order for us to communicate effectively. If the cognitive system does not work correctly for whatever reason, then a person cannot communicate effectively. Strokes, traumatic brain injuries, dementia or other neurological diseases can affect cognition.
The American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) describes cognitive-communication disorders as, 'difficulty with any aspect of communication that is affected by disruption of cognition. Communication may be verbal or nonverbal and include listening, speaking, gesturing, reading and writing in all domains of language'.
Although it takes a team of professionals to assist with these areas, speech language pathologists are equipped with the ability to provide a plan of care based on the patient's overall communication needs.
As the geriatric population increases, our rehabilitation hospitals will continue to see more patients affected by forms of dementia We do not shy away from treating these cognitively impaired patients. We are able to provide patients and families with strategies, tools and education to build upon a patient's strengths and compensate for their deficits as they progress through this illness.
Communication is the one of the most fundamental needs for our patients. Speech language pathologists are honored to play a part in improving communication for our patients.
Wolfe has been with Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Huntington in West Virginia since 2008. She has more than 20 years of experience as an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certified speech language pathologist and 14 years as a therapy director, serving across the levels of post-acute care and in public schools Wolfe holds a master's degree in communication disorders from Marshall University.
Encompass Health's Powered by Care series profiles how Company leaders and clinicians are delivering on our promise of connected care and superior outcomes.