Did you know that as we grow older, our vocal cords and larynx muscles can weaken, making it difficult for us to talk in a manner we are accustomed to? Just like the rest of our body, we seem to use our voice less as we age. We talk less, yell less, and even sing less, therefore allowing the muscles involved to weaken. What can we do? Speech therapy for seniors can help us speak better, using vocal exercises to help us communicate effectively once again.
Here are some things we can do to keep a strong, healthy voice:
- Practice Good Vocal Hygiene -The larynx should stay moist and flexible, so drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Limit caffeine and alcohol, which dry out your throat. Incorporate “wet snacks,” things like grapes, melons, cucumbers -- that have a lot of water content.
- Use It or Lose It - For older adults, the more you use your voice, the stronger it will become. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself and stay quiet.
- Voice Therapy - A comprehensive voice evaluation can rule out any other causes for voice issues (like tumors or lesions). You may benefit from voice therapy, which is like physical therapy for the voice to improve its health, function, quality, and stamina. Voice therapy is typically covered by insurance but check with your provider to confirm.
To learn more about strengthening your voice and improving your life, join us along with Western Reserve Hospital Speech Pathologist Gary Motta, MA, CCC/SLP for his chat: “Use it or Lose it, Ways to Enhance Voice and Language.” Click on Danbury Senior Living on Facebook on June 8 at 3 pm for the live session!