Why speech-language conditions are so debilitating

June 20, 2016 | Aged Care Finance


When most people think of speech problems, the first thing that may come to mind is just an inability to speak, but this is simply not that case – especially so when it comes to the elderly. Speech and language issues are serious conditions that can affect an individual’s ability to swallow – termed dysphagia – as well as their basic ability to communicate using their speech, language processing and cognition skills.

The effects

Understandably, the loss of these functions can have a total and destabilising effect on anyone, but it can be particularly devastating to elderly patients who often already have limited function and reduced mobility.

According to the American Speach-Language-Hearing Association, language disorders can be said to be present when a person has trouble understanding others – termed receptive language – or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings – termed expressive language.

Speech and communication difficulties require specialist care.Speech and communication difficulties require specialist care.

What can be done?

Typically, a speech-language pathologist will assist the patient during one to two hour periods by going through activities such as safe swallowing, the assembly of a diet designed to be easier to swallow and consume, as well as aid their consumption of fluids.

The speech-language pathologist will also run the patient through alternate or customised communication skills – as this is often one of the most devastating aspects of the condition, the inability to say what is on one’s mind.

How Mirus can help

There are specific requirements that your aged care facility must meet in order to be eligible for additional funding. Under Section 12 of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI), ‘Complex Health Care’, an allied health professional must be appropriately qualified to develop the directive for the condition in question.

The ACFI stipulates that an aged care facility should have someone on staff that can perform the directives that a qualified professional establishes, so you don’t necessarily need a speech pathologist on staff at all times.

This is where Mirus can help, as we know and understand the exact ways to approach the ACFI in order to generate the right kind of funding for your facility.

To learn more about how Mirus can help your facility be the absolute best it can be, by providing top quality care and assistance to all patients, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mirus today. We are specialists in aged care funding optimisation and were founded with the goal of helping Aged Care organisations provide optimal care for their residents.